Compared to other groups of invertebrates, sponge (Porifera) taxonomy has been poorly developed in the Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP) in general and in the Colombian Pacific in particular. This work aims to increase knowledge of the group’s biodiversity in the rocky reefs of northern Chocó. Sponge samples were collected by autonomous diving, which were then processed and identified in the laboratory by standard methods. It was confirmed the low species richness and the predominance of encrusting morphologies and cryptic habits, which have been found in other studies in the region. Twenty-four (24) morphotypes belonging to 13 orders, 17 families and 21 genera were identified. Twelve (12) morphotypes were recognized at the genus level or with a tentative specific identity and the other 12 were confirmed at the species level. Six (6) species are morphologically similar to those of the Caribbean, indicating that populations may not have diverged sufficiently since the closure of the Isthmus of Panama or, alternatively, may have recently crossed the Panama Canal.
North-eastern Pacific warm temperate
Biodiversity, Taxonomic and ecological diversity