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The World Porifera Database

The WPD, the World Database of all Recent sponges ever described, is part of the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS), a global initiative to arrive at a register of all marine organisms. The WPD is complementary to the Systema Porifera (editors Hooper & Van Soest, 2002), the two volume comprehensive classification of all sponge taxa above the species level. It incorporates recent and future amendments of the sponge classification, including the recently proposed revision of Morrow & Cárdenas (2015).


Porifera news

Poliopogon aggregation on the Great Meteor Seamount
Added on: 2015-07-29 08:23:14 by van Soest, Rob
Xavier, J.R.; Tojeira, I.; Van Soest, R.W.M. 2015. On a hexactinellid sponge aggregation at the Great Meteor seamount (North-east Atlantic). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. First View, 6 pp. doi:10.1017/S0025315415000685 ... [Read more]
Sponges from marine caves in Northern Black Sea
Added on: 2015-07-21 11:42:23 by Boury-Esnault, Nicole
Ereskovsky A.V.; Kovtun O.; Pronin K.K. 2015. Marine cave biota of the Tarkhankut Peninsula (Black Sea, Crimea), with emphasis on sponge taxonomic composition, spatial distribution and ecological particularities. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, doi:10.1017/S0025315415001071 ... [Read more]
Porifera from Eastern Mediterranean
Added on: 2015-07-03 12:21:26 by Boury-Esnault, Nicole
Gözcelioglu, B.; Van Soest, R.W.M.; Alvarez, B.; Konuklugil, B. (2015) New species of sponges (Porifera, Demospongiae) from the Turkish coast. Turkish Journal of Zoology, 39: 555-559 ... [Read more]
Spongillina from northeast Brazil
Added on: 2015-07-03 10:14:37 by Hooper, John
Nicacio, G.; Pinheiro, U. (2015). Biodiversity of freshwater sponges (Porifera: Spongillina) from northeast Brazil: new species and notes on systematics. Zootaxa 3981 (2): 220–240 ... [Read more]
New species of Janulum from the southwest Pacific
Added on: 2015-06-30 10:54:33 by Kelly, Michelle
A new species of the enigmatic sponge genus Janulum de Laubenfels, 1936 was discovered recently on the Louisville Seamount Chain, in International Waters to the east of New Zealand; two small specimens were found encrusting the interstices of the stony coral Solenosmilia variabilis Duncan at a depth of 1200–1600 m. ... [Read more]

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The aim for the WPD is to be a catalogue of sponge species in a continuously updated, fully hierarchical system to promote stability of sponge names, to serve the community of users of sponge names, and to act as a tool for higher taxon revisions and regional monographs. A further aim is to be the world’s comprehensive database for sponge type specimens and other important vouchered specimens. Additional information we are making available are (overview) distributions of all species and unaccepted name combinations occurring in the literature.

In order to have adequate expert knowledge we have formed an editorial committee consisting of:

and the following specialist colleagues:

Editors are responsible for entries, decision on validity of names. Corrections and omissions may be addressed to the relevant editor or the general editor.

Currently (2015), there are 8,637 valid species (marine + non-marine) in the database (among almost 20,000 taxon names). Acceptance is an editorial decision, but we acknowledge such decisions need to be re-examined frequently in the light of new information. If you disagree with senior synonymy decisions or genus assignments, please let us have your - argumented - corrected assignment. More info.

Who is who in sponge science

This global address list reflects information as compiled between February and June 2015. It was collated through a survey posted on mailing lists (PoriferaList, CoraList and Skolithos) and by contacting some people directly. The information was collected and made available by Christine Schönberg (count 304 in present list).


By downloading or consulting data from this website, the visitor acknowledges that he/she agrees to the following:

If data are extracted from this website for secondary analysis resulting in a publication, the website should be cited as follows:

  • Van Soest, R.W.M; Boury-Esnault, N.; Hooper, J.N.A.; Rützler, K.; de Voogd, N.J.; Alvarez de Glasby, B.; Hajdu, E.; Pisera, A.B.; Manconi, R.; Schoenberg, C.; Janussen, D.; Tabachnick, K.R., Klautau, M.; Picton, B.; Kelly, M.; Vacelet, J.; Dohrmann, M.; Díaz, M.-C.; Cárdenas, P. (2015) World Porifera database. Accessed at on 2015-08-04

If any data constitutes a substantial proportion of the records used in secondary analyses (i.e. more than 25% of the data are derived from this source, or the data are essential to arrive at the conclusion of the analysis), the editors/managers of the database should be contacted. It may be useful to contact us directly in case there are additional data that may strengthen the analysis or there are features of the data that are important to consider but may not have been apparent from the metadata.

Website and databases developed and hosted by VLIZ · Page generated 2015-08-04 · contact: Rob van Soest