sponges text index | photo index
Phylum Porifera
Smooth brown sponge
Neopetrosia exigua*
Family Petrosiidae
updated Oct 2016
Where seen? This smooth brown sponge forms a ridged layer over coral rubble and is sometimes seen on our Southern shores.

Features: Thin layer encrusting small areas 10-20cm sometimes larger. Often with irregular low 'walls', folds, knobs and lobes. In deeper water, it may have taller lobes or turrets (to 30cm). Texture smooth and velvety (not rubbery or glossy) because the surface has a layer of tiny needle-shaped spicules. Tiny holes at the top of folds and scattered elsewhere. Colours ochre to golden and orangey brown.

May be confused with Blue icing sponges (Lendenfeldia cf. chondrodes) which look similar but are blue, green or lilac. Also similar to Smooth green sponge which is not as smooth has has a texture of tiny bumps.

Labrador, Jun 05
Human uses: The sponge is sticky when crushed and fishermen in Micronesia use this sponge to caulk (waterproof) their canoes.

Terumbu Raya, May 10

Terumbu Berkas, Jan 10

Cyrene Reef, Mar 07

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

Smooth brown sponges on Singapore shores

Photos of Smooth brown sponges for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

Pulau Biola, May 10

Terumbu Salu, Jan 10

Pulau Senang, Jun 10

Pulau Berkas, May 10



  • 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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