sponges text index | photo index
Phylum Porifera
Potato sponge
Biemna sp.*
Family Desmacellidae
updated Jul 2020
Where seen? Like a potato with eyes, this buried sponge is found on some of our shores near reefs.

Spherical, oval or irregular lumpy, 10-30cm, usually buried with only chimneys sticking out of the surface. Chimneys about 1cm in diameter, 1-2cm tall. The surface is uneven and very hairy which traps sediments and sand, camouflaging the sponge. Colour pale brown.

Terumbu Pempang Tengah, Jul 10

Terumbu Hantu, Apr 12

Beting Bronok, Jun 12

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

Potato sponges on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores

East Coast Park, Jul 20
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Terumbu Raya, Mar 16
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on facebook.


  • Biemna on SeaLife Base: technical fact sheets.
  • Biemna on the World Porifera Database.


  • Lim Swee Cheng, Nicole de Voogd and Tan Koh Siang. 2008. A Guide to Sponges of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre. 173pp.
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