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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

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]
New Clathria (Microciona) from north east Brazil
Added on: 2015-04-20 06:46:42 by Hooper, John
Sandes J., Pinheiro U. (2014). New species of Clathria (Microciona) (Poecilosclerida: Microcionina: Microcionidae) from the Tropical South-western Atlantic Ocean (Sergipe State, north-eastern Brazil). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom doi:10.1017/S0025315414002124 ... [Read more]
New Cladorhiza from deep SW Atlantic
Added on: 2015-04-17 16:22:00 by Vacelet, Jean
Taxonomy of Cladorhiza in the deep SW Atlantic: C. nicoleae sp. nov. and redescription of C. inversa (Cladorhizidae, Poecilosclerida, Demospongiae)Cristiana Castello-Branco, Jon Thomassen Hestetun, Hans Tore Rapp and Eduardo Hajdu Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom FirstView ... [Read more]
A new Didiscus from Brazil
Added on: 2015-04-14 21:18:31 by van Soest, Rob
Santos, G.G.; Pinheiro, U. 2015. A new western Atlantic species of Didiscus Dendy, 1922 (Porifera: Demospongiae: Halichondrida) with a key to the species of the genus. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, First View, doi:10.1017/S0025315415000351 ... [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 8,627 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 2015-05-06

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 2015-05-06 · contact: Rob van Soest