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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 species of Clathria (Microciona) with cleistochelae from Brazil
Added on: 2014-12-19 04:18:39 by Hooper, John
Santos, G.G. & Pinheiro, U. (2014). Two new cleistocheliferous species of Clathria of sciophilous habitats from Northeastern Brazil (Poecilosclerida: Demospongiae: Porifera). Zootaxa 3900 (1): 107–116 ... [Read more]
Proposed revival of Jia (as a subgenus of Antho)
Added on: 2014-12-17 20:33:33 by van Soest, Rob
Van Soest, R.; Rützler, K.; Sim, C.J. 2014. Crooked Anthos: proposed subgeneric status of Jia (Porifera, Poecilosclerida), with descriptions of four new species. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, First View, pp. 1-15. ... [Read more]
New species of Eurypon from Brazil
Added on: 2014-12-17 20:18:30 by van Soest, Rob
Santos, G.G.; França, F.; Pinheiro, U. 2014. Three new species of Eurypon Gray, 1867 from Northeastern Brazil (Poecilosclerida; Demospongiae; Porifera). Zootaxa 3895: 273-284. ... [Read more]
Sponge Biodiversity of Falkland Islands (South Atlantic)
Added on: 2014-12-16 15:20:04 by Boury-Esnault, Nicole
Goodwin, C.; Jones, J.; Neely, K.; Brickle, P. (in press) Sponge biodiversity of Beauchêne and the Sea Lion Islands and south-east East Falkland, Falkland Islands, with a description of nine new species. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom ... [Read more]
New (3rd) edition of the Sponge Guide.
Added on: 2014-12-08 19:41:58 by van Soest, Rob
Zea, S.; Henkel, T.P.; Pawlik, J.R. 2014. The Sponge Guide: a picture guide to Caribbean sponges. 3rd Edition. Available online at: ... [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 (2014), there are 8,605 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. (2014) World Porifera database. Accessed at on 2014-12-20

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 2014-12-20 · contact: Rob van Soest