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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


Endemic Arctic sponges

Added on: 2021-06-18 09:29:22 by Boury-Esnault, Nicole
Morozov, G.; Sabirov, R.; Anisimova, N. (2021). The hidden diversity of the endemic Arctic sponges (Porifera). Journal of Natural History, 55 (9-10): 571-596 ...

Mediterranean Cold-Water Coral Sponge Fauna

Added on: 2021-06-16 10:13:16 by Boury-Esnault, Nicole
Santin, A.; Grinyó, J.; Uriz, M.J.; Lo Iacono, C.; Gili, J.M.; Puig, P. (2021). Mediterranean Coral Provinces as a Sponge Diversity Reservoir: Is There a Mediterranean Cold-Water Coral Sponge Fauna? Frontiers in Marine Science, 8:662899. ...

Vauxiids as descendants of archaeocyaths: a hypothesis

Added on: 2021-06-15 17:33:33 by Cárdenas, Paco
Luo, C.; Yang, A.; Zhuravlev, A.Y.; Reitner, J. (2021). Vauxiids as descendants of archaeocyaths: a hypothesis. Lethaia, online first ...

Ascospongiae, a new (fossil) sponge class

Added on: 2021-06-15 14:31:47 by Cárdenas, Paco
Botting, J.P. (2021) Hexactins in the "protomonaxonid" sponge Choiaella and proposal of Ascospongiae (class nov.) as a formal replacement for the Protomonaxonida. Bulletin of Geosciences 96 (3):0-0. ...

Western Australian Corticium

Added on: 2021-06-07 12:01:15 by van Soest, Rob W.M.
Muricy, G.; Sarmento, K.; Lage, A.; Almeida, A.C.; Fromont, J. (2021). Taxonomy of some Indian and Pacific oceans Corticium, with the description of three new species from Western Australia (Porifera: Homosclerophorida). Zootaxa 4981 (1): 47-69. ...

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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 (2021), there are 9,391 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. (2021). World Porifera Database. Accessed at on 2021-06-18. 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 2021-06-18 · contact: Rob van Soest