sponges text index | photo index
Phylum Porifera
Orange sprawling sponge
Clathria reinwardti*
Family Microcionidae
updated Oct 2016
Where seen? This large sprawling bright orange sponge is commonly seen on some of our Southern shores, growing in sheltered shores on coral rubble in or near seagrass areas and in man-made lagoons on our Southern Islands.

Features: 20-30cm. Often looks like sprawling tree roots, branching and spreading horizontally along the surface. Stems may be slender, long, angular and sparsely branched, or short and regularly branched with short upright portions. Or series of flattened upright lobes. Also combinations of these different shapes in the same sponge. Texture smooth with a semi-translucent surface skin that collapses when out of water to form folds and ridges.

At intervals along the top portion of the sponge there are lumps or short fat cones with small holes (0.5cm) at the tips. The holes have membranous lips and water channels radiate from these holes. The holes are more obvious when the sponge is submerged. Out of water, the hole are closed as the lips collapse, and the area around it puckers into rdiges. Colour usually bright orange, also paler orange.

Pulau Semakau, Mar 05

Hole with membranous lips and
water channels radiating out from the hole.

Cone with holes at the tip.

Pulau Hantu, May 09

Pulau Semakau, May 07

Cyrene Reef, Jun 08

Beting Bemban Besar, Jun 09

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

Orange sprawling sponges on Singapore shores

Photos of Orange sprawling sponges for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

Terumbu Semakau, May 10

Pulau Pawai, Dec 09

Terumbu Berkas, Jan 10

Pulau Berkas, May 10

Pulau Senang, Jun 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.
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