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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 a logical follow up and addition to the Systema Porifera (editors Hooper & Van Soest, 2002), the current update of the classification of all sponge taxa above the species level.


Porifera news

New Dercitus (Stoeba) from the tropical western Atlantic
Added on: 2015-01-21 15:25:33 by Cardenas, Paco
Santos, G. G. & Pinheiro, U. 2015. A new species of Dercitus (Stoeba) from the Atlantic Ocean (Porifera: Demospongiae: Astrophorida). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, FirstView, 1-6. ... [Read more]
Sponges from the Gulf of Mexico
Added on: 2015-01-19 03:35:06 by Hooper, John
Ugalde, D., Gomex, P., Simoes, N. (2015). Marine sponges (Porifera: Demospongiae) from the Gulf of México, new records and redescription of Erylus trisphaerus (de Laubenfels, 1953). Zootaxa 3911 (2): 151–183 ... [Read more]
New Mycale species from Northwest Africa
Added on: 2015-01-14 09:40:39 by van Soest, Rob
Van Soest, R.W.M.; Beglinger, E.J.; De Voogd, N.J. 2014. Mycale species of Northwest Africa and the Macaronesian Islands. Zoologische Mededelingen Leiden 88 (4): 59-109. ... [Read more]
A new Mediterranean Hexactinellid
Added on: 2015-01-12 22:27:09 by Boury-Esnault, Nicole
Boury-Esnault, N.; Vacelet, J.; Reiswig, HM; Fourt, M.; Aguilar, R.: Chevaldonné, P. 2014. Mediterranean hexactinellid sponges, with the description of a new Sympagella species (Porifera, Hexactinellida). Journal of the marine Biological Association of the UK on line ... [Read more]
Lithistid sponges confirmed to be polyphyletic in a comprehensive integrated study
Added on: 2015-01-09 12:31:54 by van Soest, Rob
Schuster, A.; Erpenbeck, D.; Pisera, A.; Hooper, J.; Bryce, M.; Fromont, J.; Wörheide, G. 2014. Deceptive desmas: molecular phylogenetics suggests a new classification and uncovers convergent evolution of lithistid demosponges. PLOS One 10 (1): e116038 ... [Read more]

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The initial aim for the WPD is to be a catalogue of sponge species in a fully hierarchical system to promote stability of sponge names and act as a tool for higher taxon revisions and regional monographs. A further future aim is to be the world’s database for sponge type specimens and other important vouchered specimens. Additional information we soon will have available is overview distributions of all taxa and non-original and non-accepted species name combinations.

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 8,599 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 2015-01-28

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 2015-01-28 · contact: Rob van Soest