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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

Phylogeny and biogeography of the genus Metania
Added on: 2015-08-29 22:52:40 by Boury-Esnault, Nicole
Castello-Branco, C.; Calor, A.R.; Menegola, C. 2015. Microscleres and gemmoscleres as phylogenetic signals in Spongillida: phylogeny and biogeography of the genus Metania Gray, 1867 (Porifera, Metaniidae). Invertebrate Systematics, 29, 369–385 ... [Read more]
New species of Tethya from the Mediterranean Sea
Added on: 2015-08-24 08:56:51 by Cárdenas, Paco
Corriero G., Gadaleta F. and Bavestrello G. (2015) A new Mediterranean species of Tethya (Porifera: Tethyida: Demospongiae). Italian Journal of Zoology, 1-9. ... [Read more]
Deep-sea demosponges from the Northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge
Added on: 2015-08-07 01:01:22 by Cárdenas, Paco
Cárdenas P. and Rapp H.T. (2015) Demosponges from the Northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge shed more light on the diversity and biogeography of North Atlantic deep-sea sponges. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. ... [Read more]
Cryptic speciation in Lake Baikal sponges
Added on: 2015-08-06 09:57:09 by Hooper, John
Itskovich, VB., Kaluzhnay, OV, Veynberg, E, Erpenbeck, D. (2015) Endemic Lake Baikal sponges from deep water. 1: Potential cryptic speciation and discovery of living species known only from fossils. Zootaxa 3990(1): 123–137 ... [Read more]
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]

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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 8,644 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 2015-09-01

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 2015-09-01 · contact: Rob van Soest