This spiky ball- or cushion-shaped sponge is commonly seen on rock
and rubble on our Northern shores.
Features: 8-10cm in diameter, ball- or rounded, cushion
shape with lots of large holes. Sometimes also encrusting or with
lobes, fingers, or even maze-like walls. The surface is often spiky
with a net- or web-like texture. Often with thin membranous lips around
large openings in the sponge. Colours in pastel shades ranging from
beige, lilac, blue to pale pink and beige, apparently depending on
the type of symbiotic bacteria found in the sponge.
When broken, Dysidea species often produce a strong medicinal
smell. Dysidea species don't produce their own spicules. Instead,
foreign spicules and sand grains are incoporated into the skeleton
thus making species identification difficult.
Sometimes, these sponges are draped with synaptid
sea cucumbers and brittle stars are sometimes glimpsed deep in
the crevices of the sponge.
Pulau Sekudu, May 12
Thin 'lips' around large opening.
Brittle star deep in the crevices.
Chek Jawa, Jun 06
Sometimes draped with synaptid sea cucumbers
Chek Jawa, May 04
Spiky with net-like texture.
Jawa, Jan 02
Sekudu, Jul 08
Bronok, May 11
*Species are difficult to positively identify without close examination.
On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience of
ball sponges on Singapore shores
- Lim Swee
Cheng, Nicole de Voogd and Tan Koh Siang. 2008. A
Guide to Sponges of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre.