sponges text index | photo index
Phylum Porifera
Daisy sponge
Coelocarteria singaporensis*
Family Isodictyidae
updated Oct 2016
Where seen? This strange sponge is sometimes seen on many of our shores, growing on and among coral rubble as well as on rocks which are submerged even at low tide. It is considered one of the most commonly encountered sponges on our shores. It is one of the few sponges that was described from Singapore, hence its species name.

Features:15-20cm in diameter. There is usually one or two large hollow cones (to 2cm in diameter), encircled by upright long 'fingers' (up to 15cm tall). These fingers are generally unbranched with flattened or rounded tips, and they don't have any large holes. With some imagination, it does resemble a daisy, doesn't it? There may be creeping buried 'rhizomes' extending along the ground from the sponge with fingers sticking up from these horizontal stems. Colours include bright yellow, brownish, maroon, greenish and black.

Another sponge species of a different family (Oceanapia sp., Family Phloeodictyidae) can look very similar and the two kinds of sponges are difficult to tell apart in the field.

Creeping 'rhizomes' sometimes
extending from the sponge.
Labrador, Jun 08

Labrador, Feb 06

Pulau Semakau, Jan 05

Sometimes covered with tiny Spinoid worms.

Pulau Semakau, Aug 11

Labrador, Jul 05

This is possibly Oceanapia sp.
and NOT a Daisy sponge

Sisters Island, Jul 06

Terumbu Pempang Darat, Jun 10

Fingers sticking up from horizontal stem.

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

Daisy sponges on Singapore shores

Photos of Daisy sponges for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

Pulau Berkas, May 10

Pulau Salu, Jun 10

Pulau Biola, Dec 09

Terumbu Berkas, Jan 10

Terumbu Salu, Jan 10



  • Lim Swee Cheng, Nicole de Voogd and Tan Koh Siang. 2008. A Guide to Sponges of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre. 173pp.
  • Gosliner, Terrence M., David W. Behrens and Gary C. Williams. 1996. Coral Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific: Animal life from Africa to Hawaii exclusive of the vertebrates Sea Challengers. 314pp.
  • Allen, Gerald R and Roger Steene. 2002. Indo-Pacific Coral Reef Field Guide. Tropical Reef Research. 378pp
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