updated Feb 13
This maroon barrel-shaped sponge is sometimes seen on many of our
shores, near and in reefs.
Features: Large ones
have a deep cavity in the centre so they are generally vase- or barrel-shaped.
The inside of the cavity has an uneven and rough texture. The outside
may be smooth, bumpy or with regular fingers, ridges or 'wings'. Younger,
smaller ones may be tall hollow tubes. Often several 'vases' of various
sizes and shapes are found together emerging from what appears to
be a common base. Those on the intertidal are about 10-20cm in diameter
and about 10-20cm tall. But it is said that those found in deeper
waters can grow to more than 1m tall. It is maroon to pinkish and
the 'opening' of the
barrel may be paler to white.
The outside of the sponge is often covered with tiny beige Spionid
sponge worms (Family Spionidae).
sea cucumbers are also seen draped on the outside.
It it not correct to refer to this sponge as the Neptune's cup sponge,
which is another much larger sponge (Cliona patera).
Shapes range from fingers, hollow tubes
to large vase shapes.
Island, Apr 12
Inside the cavity,
texture is uneven and rough.
sponges on Singapore shores
*Species are difficult
to positively identify without close examination.
On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience of
- Lim Swee
Cheng, Nicole de Voogd and Tan Koh Siang. 2008. A
Guide to Sponges of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre.
- Chou, L.
M., 1998. A
Guide to the Coral Reef Life of Singapore. Singapore Science
Centre. 128 pages.
Terrence M., David W. Behrens and Gary C. Williams. 1996. Coral
Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific: Animal life from Africa to Hawai’I
exclusive of the vertebrates
Sea Challengers. 314pp.
- Allen, Gerald
R and Roger Steene. 2002. Indo-Pacific
Coral Reef Field Guide.
Tropical Reef Research. 378pp.
- 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.