Welcome to the Sponge Guide Database
The Sponge Guide continues to grow!
The guide now features over 200 species morphs from
throughout the Caribbean. This photographic guide
Sponges are important members of coral reef ecosystems. They
filter water, cycle nutrients, and provide a home to numerous cryptic
Species of sponges differ in shape, color, texture. However, even individuals of the same species can differ in their appearance.
Because of their variability, identifying sponges can be a difficult task. Often,
microscopic examination of tissue fibers and skeletal elements,
called spicules, is necessary in order to distinguish different
Every image presented in this database has been examined and identified using established taxonomic techniques.
Given the difficulty in distinguishing species, the information presented here should serve as a guide, and not a definitive reference for taxonomic identification.
We hope that you find this tool useful and
gain a better appreciation
for the wonderful world of Caribbean sponges!
Data used from the Sponge Guide can be referenced as:
Zea, S., Henkel, T.P., and Pawlik, J.R. 2009. The Sponge Guide: a picture guide to Caribbean sponges. Available online at www.spongeguide.org. Accessed on: 2014-07-24 .