sponges text index | photo index
Phylum Porifera
Purple branching sponge
Callyspongia sp.*
Family Callyspongiidae
updated Oct 2016

Where seen? Like a little purple bush, this sponge is commonly seen on hard surfaces near the mid-water mark on our Northern shores.

A bunch of 'stems' slender (1-1.5cm thick) and long (10-15cm), usually growing upright but sometimes sprawling horizontally hugging the surface. The stems are not extensively branched and cylindrical with rounded tips (not tapering). With small shallow holes regularly spaced along the length of the 'stem' (not just at the tips, and the 'stem' is not a hollow tube). The surface texture is rough. Colours usually purple to lilac.

These sponges are draped with sponge synaptid sea cucumbers at some times of the year.

Pulau Sekudu, Jan 06

Sometimes draped with
synaptid sea cucumbers
Chek Jawa, Aug 05

Chek Jawa, Feb 02

Pulau Sekudu, Jan 06

Pulau Sekudu, Jun 04

Tuas, Dec 03

Pulau Sekudu, Jul 06

*Species are difficult to positively identify without close examination.
On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience of display.

Purple branching sponges on Singapore shores

Photos of Purple branching sponges for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

Other sightings on Singapore shores

East Coast (PCN), May 21
Photo shared by Vincent Choo on facebook..



  • Lim Swee Cheng, Nicole de Voogd and Tan Koh Siang. 2008. A Guide to Sponges of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre. 173pp.
links | references | about | email Ria
Spot errors? Have a question? Want to share your sightings? email Ria I'll be glad to hear from you!
wildfactsheets website©ria tan 2008