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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


Checklist of marine sponges from India

Added on: 2020-11-26 02:46:24 by Hooper, John N.A.
George, A.M.; Van Soest, R.W.M.; Sluka, R.D.; Lazarus, S. (2020). A checklist of marine sponges (Porifera) of peninsula India. Zootaxa 4885 (2): 277–300 ...

New species of Tretopleura (Hexactinellida: Sceptrulophora) from NW Pacific seamount

Added on: 2020-11-13 14:15:15 by Dohrmann, Martin
Shen, C.; Zhang, D.; LU, B.; Wang, C. (2020). A new species of glass sponge (Hexactinellida: Sceptrulophora: Uncinateridae) from the Weijia Seamount in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. Zootaxa. 4878: 322-334. ...

New Cladorhizidae and Guitarridae from South Australia

Added on: 2020-11-13 03:19:11 by Hooper, John N.A.
Ekins, M.; Erpenbeck, D.; Goudie, L.; Hooper, J.N.A. (2020). New carnivorous sponges and allied species from the Great Australian Bight. Zootaxa 4878 (2): 240–266 ...

Phylogenomics of Lake Baikal sponges

Added on: 2020-11-03 10:24:55 by Cárdenas, Paco
Kenny, N.J.; Itskovich, V.B. (2020) Phylogenomic inference of the interrelationships of Lake Baikal sponges. Systematics and Biodiversity:1-9. ...

The order Tethyida in California

Added on: 2020-10-16 09:52:38 by Boury-Esnault, Nicole
Turner, T.L. (2020). The order Tethyida (Porifera) in California: taxonomy, systematics, and the first member of the family Hemiasterellidae in the Eastern Pacific. Zootaxa, 4861 (2): 211–231 ...

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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 (2020), there are 9,357 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.


Usage of data from the World Porifera Database in scientific publications should be acknowledged by citing 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.; Kelly, M.; Vacelet, J.; Dohrmann, M.; Díaz, M.-C.; Cárdenas, P.; Carballo, J.L.; Ríos, P.; Downey, R.; Morrow, C.C. (2020). World Porifera Database. Accessed at on 2020-11-26. doi:10.14284/359
If the data from the World Porifera Database constitute a substantial proportion of the records used in analyses, the chief editor(s) of the database should be contacted. There may be additional data which may prove valuable to such analyses.

Individual pages are individually authored and dated. These can be cited separately: the proper citation is provided at the bottom of each page.

Website and databases developed and hosted by VLIZ · Page generated 2020-11-26 · contact: Rob van Soest