sponges text index | photo index
Phylum Porifera
Silvery blue sponge
Lamellodysidea herbacea*
Family Dysideidae
updated Oct 2016

Where seen? This pale blue prickly sponge is commonly seen on our Southern shores, growing over coral rubble.

Small, covering an area of 10-15cm. The sponge can take various forms; flat spatula-like fingers, lettuce-like 'leaves', spindly branches, short thicker lobes, all emerging from an encrusting base. Younger ones may look like cabbages with upright lobes arranged in a maze-like pattern. Surface texture prickly. A few small holes at the top edges. Colours from a pale greyish blue to greenish due to the cyanobacteria that inhabit the sponge. Cyanobacteria contain a bluish pigment phycocyanin that is used to capture light for photosynthesis. They also contain chlorophyll.

Labrador, Mar 05

Labrador, Mar 05

Labrador, Apr 05
Labrador, Apr 05

Cyrene Reef, Apr 08

Sentosa, Apr 07

A young sponge may look like a cabbage.

Kusu Island, Jun 04

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

Silvery blue sponges on Singapore shores

Photos of Silvery blue sponges for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

St John's Island, Oct 20

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Lazarus Island, Feb 11

Photo shared by Rene Ong on facebook.

Terumbu Pempang Tengah, May 11

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.

Pulau Semakau South, Feb 16
Photo shared by Heng Pei Yan on facebook.

Pulau Pawai, Dec 09

Pulau Senang, Jun 10

Terumbu Berkas, May 10



  • Lim Swee Cheng, Nicole de Voogd and Tan Koh Siang. 2008. A Guide to Sponges of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre. 173pp.
  • Lim, S., P. Ng, L. Tan, & W. Y. Chin, 1994. Rhythm of the Sea: The Life and Times of Labrador Beach. Division of Biology, School of Science, Nanyang Technological University & Department of Zoology, the National University of Singapore. 160 pp.
  • Allen, Gerald R and Roger Steene. 2002. Indo-Pacific Coral Reef Field Guide. Tropical Reef Research. 378pp.
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