Marine sponges (Porifera) from the Bahía San Antonio (North Patagonian Gulfs, Argentina), with additions to the phylogeography of the widely distributed Cliona aff. celata and Hymeniacidon perlevis, and the description of two new species

Six sponge species from Bahía San Antonio (north Argentinean Patagonia) are (re)described, including two new species, namely Halichondria (Halichondria) elenae sp. nov. and Clathria (Microciona) saoensis sp. nov., and three new records for the Argentinean coast. Halichondria (H.) elenae sp. nov. is the only yellowish-greenish SW Atlantic Halichondria with oxeas up to 450 µm. The new species’ 18S rRNA blasted with Halichondria bowerbanki from Ireland, but it is argued that co-specificity is unlikely, in view of their rather distinct morphologies. Clathria (M.) saoensis sp. nov. is the only C. (Microciona) in the SW Atlantic, SE Pacific, and (sub)Antarctic regions with smooth (or nearly so) principal megascleres, mostly below 500 µm long, as well as moderately curved toxas, and isochelae of regular non-cleistochelate shape. Cliona aff. celata and Hymeniacidon perlevis had their identifications confirmed by the sequencing of their 28S and 18S rRNA genes, respectively, and mitochondrial CO1. Both of them clustered with previously sequenced specimens from the Temperate North Atlantic, apart from additional samples from SE Brazil, in the case of C. aff. celata, and China and South Korea, in the case of H. perlevis.