The relationships between different spicule lineages of Demospongiae are revised through the ontogenetic study of the main spicules of the genera Crambe and Discorhabdella. The presence of terminal orifices in the basal spines of the asterose acanthostyles of Discorhabdella, and the actines of the desmas of Crambe have been shown by examining young spicules under high magnification. Thus, the polyaxonid origin of both spicule types is hereby supported by the ontogenetic information, and their homology is also supported by their equivalent arrangement in the skeleton. The current differences in shape between both spicule types are considered the result of a divergent morphological evolution from an ancestral polyactinal corpuscle, by the atrophy/hypertrophy of a different number of actines. Arguments are also presented to support the homology of these two spicule types with the sphaeroclons of Vetulina, and other fossil genera. Moreover, the presence of axial canals inside the tubercles of the tuberose tylostyles of Discorhabdella and Crambe tuberosa indicates that the tubercles are actually atrophied actines as in the case of the hadromerid genus Terpios. According to the ontogeny, the tuberose morphology of these spicules may correspond to the retention of an ancestral characteristic in the Poecilosclerida and Hadromerida; in this case, a monophyletic origin, is suggested between both taxa. From the overall results here presented, the tetraxonid spicule, presently considered by most authors as the primitive morphotype, as well as some monaxons, could be considered as evolving from a polyaxial form. © 1995.
Uriz, M. J., & Maldonado, M. (1995). A reconsideration of the relationship between polyaxonid and monaxonid spicules in Demospongiae: new data from the genera Crambe and Discorhabdella (Porifera). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. https://doi.org/10.1016/0024-4066(95)90025-X