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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


New Calcarea from Southwestern Atlantic

Added on: 2017-12-11 12:43:53 by Boury-Esnault, Nicole
Chagas, C.; Cavalcanti, F.F. 2017. Taxonomy of calcareous sponges (Porifera, Calcarea) sampled on artificial substrates of a recreational marina in the Tropical Northeastern Brazilian coast. Zootaxa, 4563 (2), 203-224 ...

Distribution of Plectroninia

Added on: 2017-11-29 14:27:32 by Vacelet, Jean
Vacelet, J.; James, B.; Zibrowius, H. (2017). New records of the hypercalcified sponge Plectroninia (Calcarea, Minchinellidae) in the Recent deep ocean. Alcheringa: An Australasian Journal of Palaeontology. 1-8. ...

Terpios hoshinota in Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea

Added on: 2017-11-27 04:59:06 by Hooper, John
Ekins, M.; Willis, B.; Bridge, T.; Srinivasan, M.; Rowley, S.; Hooper, J.N.A. (2017) The coral killing sponge Terpios hoshinota in Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum – Nature 60: 174-175

Discovery of hexactinellid sponge garden on Rio Grande Rise (SW Atlantic)

Added on: 2017-11-24 10:26:34 by Dohrmann, Martin
Hajdu, E.; Castello-Branco, C.; Lopes, D.A.; Sumida, P.Y.G.; Perez, J.A.A. 2017. Deep-sea dives reveal an unexpected hexactinellid sponge garden on the Rio Grande Rise (SW Atlantic). A mimicking habitat? Deep-Sea Res. Pt. II in press ...

Eastern Arctic and Subarctic Forcepia and Lissodendoryx surveyed

Added on: 2017-11-22 20:09:14 by van Soest, Rob
Tompkins, G.; Baker, E.; Anstey, L.; Walkusz, W.; Siferd, T.; Kenchington, E. (2017) Sponges from the 2010-2014 Paamiut Multispecies Trawl Surveys, Eastern Arctic and Subarctic: Class Demospongiae, Subclass Heteroscleromorpha, Order Poecilosclerida, Family Coelosphaeridae, Genera Forcepia and Lissodendoryx. Canadian Technical Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 3224: v + 129. ...

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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 (2017), there are 8,880 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 collated through annual surveys posted on mailing lists (PoriferaList, CoraList and Skolithos) and by contacting some people directly. The information was collected and made available by Christine Schönberg.

Sponge conference materials

This is a record of abstracts, proceedings and other materials from sponge meetings and symposia.


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, B.; Hajdu, E.; Pisera, A.B.; Manconi, R.; Schönberg, C.; Klautau, M.; Picton, B.; Kelly, M.; Vacelet, J.; Dohrmann, M.; Díaz, M.-C.; Cárdenas, P.; Carballo, J. L.; Rios, P.; Downey, R. (2017). World Porifera database. Accessed at on 2017-12-15

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 2017-12-15 · contact: Rob van Soest