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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

Two new species of the genus Vosmaeropsis
Added on: 2015-05-16 09:10:41 by Boury-Esnault, Nicole
Cavalcanti, F.F.; Bastos, N.; Lanna,E. (2015). Two new species of the genus Vosmaeropsis Dendy, 1892 (Porifera, Calcarea), with comments on the distribution of V. sericata (Ridley, 1881) along the Southwestern Atlantic Ocean. Zootaxa 3956 (4): 476–490 ... [Read more]
A living Nearctic Potamolepid sponge
Added on: 2015-05-13 08:00:02 by Hooper, John
Copeland, J. Pronzato, R. Manconi, R. (2015). Discovery of living Potamolepidae (Porifera: Spongillina) from Nearctic freshwater with description of a new genus. Zootaxa 3957 (1): 037–048 ... [Read more]
New fiber-less Verongida genus from Caribbean
Added on: 2015-05-11 09:38:13 by Boury-Esnault, Nicole
Díaz, M.C.; Thacker, R.W.; Redmond, N.E.; Pérez, T.; Collins, A.G. 2015. Vansoestia caribensis gen. nov., sp. nov.: first report of the family Ianthellidae (Verongida, Demospongiae) in the Caribbean. Zootaxa 3956 (3): 403–412. ... [Read more]
A monograph on Calcareous sponges of Indonesia
Added on: 2015-04-30 14:01:48 by de Voogd, Nicole
Rob W.M. van Soest & Nicole J. de Voogd (2015) Calcareous sponges of Indonesia. Zootaxa (Monograph) 3951 (1): 001–105 (30 Apr. 2015) ... [Read more]
A revised classification of the Demospongiae
Added on: 2015-04-21 09:27:44 by Cárdenas, Paco
Morrow C. & Cárdenas P. (2015). Proposal for a revised classification of the Demospongiae (Porifera). Frontiers in Zoology, 12:7 ... [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 8,629 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.


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 2015-05-25

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 2015-05-25 · contact: Rob van Soest