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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

The systematics of carnivorous sponges
Added on: 2015-11-11 10:15:05 by Boury-Esnault, Nicole
Hestetun, JT; Vacelet, J; Boury-Esnault, N; Borchiellini, C; Kelly, M.; Ríos, P; Cristobo, J; Rapp HT. (2016). The systematics of carnivorous sponges. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 94: 327–345 ... [Read more]
New species of freshwater sponge from Brazil, Heteromeyenia
Added on: 2015-10-29 09:22:16 by Hooper, John
Pinheiro, U., Calheira, L., Hajdu, E. (2015). A new species of freshwater sponge, Heteromeyenia barlettai sp. nov. from an aquarium in São Paulo, Brazil (Spongillida: Spongillidae). Zootaxa 4034 (2): 351–363 ... [Read more]
Two new hexactinellids from the South China Sea.
Added on: 2015-10-28 01:58:31 by Hooper, John
Gong, L., Li, X., $ Qiu, J-W. (2015). Two new species of Hexactinellida (Porifera) from the South China Sea. Zootaxa 4034 (1): 182–192 ... [Read more]
Two new species of Timea from SW Atlantic
Added on: 2015-10-28 01:41:13 by Hooper, John
Leite, D.M.B., Fonseca, C.A., Leal, C.V. & Hajdu, E. (2015). Two new species of Timea from the Southwest Atlantic (Timeidae, Demospongiae, Porifera). Zootaxa 4034 (1): 161–181 ... [Read more]
Bioeroding sponges from the Turkish part of the Aegean Sea
Added on: 2015-10-27 11:45:17 by van Soest, Rob
Evcen, A.; Cinar, M.E. 2015. Bioeroding sponge species (Porifera) in the Aegean Sea (Eastern Mediterranean). Journal of the Black Sea/Mediterranean Environment 21 (3): 285-306. ... [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 8,696 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 2015-11-25

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 2015-11-25 · contact: Rob van Soest