Date of this Version
Little has been reported about the occurrence of freshwater sponges in Nebraska and no publications have previously recorded from central Nebraska waters. A large colony of freshwater sponges was discovered on the steel interior walls of a sunken (3.5 meters) delivery truck in a sand/rock quarry of the Platte River Valley near Kearney, Nebraska. Samples were collected and characteristics of the sponge were examined under magnification. Morphology indicates the sponge is a member of the genus Ephydatia. Although the species was not conclusively determined, it shares the most characteristics with E. muelleri. This is the first confirmed record of sponges from the Platte River drainage and central Nebraska.