Howies Scuba

 Marine Life Identification Perth WA

Shore Diving

Identified Sponges

Sponges in this section I have been able to identify using resources for our local waters. There are a couple here that I am only 99.999999% sure of and are most probably variations of the same sponge.

It can be difficult to identify sponges and you really need to find out the structure of the sponge as colour, shape and size can vary due to environmental factors such as wave action.  


Green Sponge
(Haliclona sp.)

Photographed at BBR and MAAC.

Brown Honeycomb Sponge
(Holopsamma Arborea)

These photographs of the Brown Honeycomb Sponge where taken at Bulk Jetty. In the right hand side picture you can see a small Triplefin that was taking shelter within the sponge.

Photographs 3 & 4 taken at BBR, known as Yellow Honeycomb Sponge, which I imagine is a variation on the Brown Honey Comb Sponge.

Variation in pattern.

This sponge like the top one photographed at Bulk Jetty. I am wondering if the water movement affects the growth pattern and shape.

These rather than honeycomb in pattern looked almost ear-lobed shaped.

Apricot Bulbous Sponge

(Tedania anhelans)

Photographed at BBR. 

This a beautifully coloured sponge, looks good enough to eat.

 Grey Fan Sponge

(Echinodictyum clathroides)

The Grey Fan Sponge pictured here where taken at Robbs Jetty. I have noticed on a couple of occassions that you will find marinelife habiting inside these, and when a Feather Star accommodates one they make for a nice picture. 

Bottom two Photographs taken at Jervoise Bay at Woodmans Point. These sponges reached an approx. height of 70 cms.

Cup Sponge

(Cymbastela marshae)

Photographs taken north of the river at BBR, Mettams Pool & MAAC.

Grey Finger Sponge

(Thorectidae sp.)

Photographed at Blue Bay.

Thorectidae sp.
Photographed at Point Peron and Blue Bay.

Read a report by South Australian Research & Development Institute (SARDI) on sponges.

The first two photographs look identical to the Thorectidae sp. they had highlighted in their report.

The second set of two photographs are included here as they seem very similar to the first two, similar colouring, texture and found in a similar environment of limestone reef.

That said top photographs found in a small nook in the reef, were as the bottom ones taken in a slightly more open area which may account for the varaition in shape.

Golf Ball Sponge

(Tethya Australis)

These aptly named Golf Ball Sponge where photographed growing on the wrecks at Rockingham DT.

Tethya bergquistae

It has very similar features to other Golf Ball Sponges of the Tethya Species  (see others on this page) and looks very similar to Tethya bergquistae

Photographs taken at Jervoise Bay Woodmans Point.

Tethya Sp.

The colouring of this next sponge looks quite similar to Tethya bergquistae, (previous) especially the colouring however texturally slightly different.

Now sponges 3 & 4 looks very much like its counterpart, except slightly more peachy in colour.

So a little bit of confusion exists around these two.

Most probably just variations however, any information you have would be greatly appreciated.

Orange Ball Sponge

(Tethya sp.)

Photographs of the Orange Ball Sponge taken at Ammo & Robbs Jetty.  

Orange Golf Ball Sponge

(Tethya ingalli)

Photographed at Bulk Jetty and Rockingham DT.

Photographs 3 & 4 of this group was photographed at Bulk Jetty, I am unsure if they are indeed Golf Ball Sponges, they look similar to the Tehtya sp. of sponge, but I have not seen these sponges with an opening such as this. However I have included them here until such further time it needs correcting.

There is a European sponge called Tethya aurantium that I have seen that is almost the double of this sponge but I am unable to find out if it is local to our waters or has a local variation.

Photographs 5 & 6 appear to be a variation on the same thing. Also photographed at Bulk Jetty

Orange Dimple Sponge

(Cliona sp.)

These Orange Dimple Sponges can grow to quite a large size. Photographed at Robbs Jetty.

On the first picture you can see that the Orange Dimple Sponge appears to have been absolutely destroyed, whether due to some type of reproductive process or it has been devoured by the local marine life is unknown.

Ayers Rock Sponge
(Spheciospongia papillosa)

Photographed at Robbs Jetty & North Mole on the Gareenup Wreck.

Yellow Sponge

(Aplysinella sp.)

This Yellow Encrusting Sponge was photographed at Ammo Jetty.

It is a similar looking sponge to that of the Rose Encrusting Sponge (below) that Verco's Pink Chromodorid dines upon, and there is a yellow Chromodorid that dines upon this blending in with its surroundings. So next time you see this have a close look, you never know what else you may see, can you see them ????

Rose Encrusted Sponge

(Aplysilla rosea)

Photographs taken at Ammo Jetty.

Unfortunately no Vercos' Chromodorid dining on this, very elusive little Nudibranch.

Ok..... below is a couple of photographs of said elusive Nudi, and I can't be as cruel as I was with the last sponge and Nudi. Here you can clearly see this very pink and very beautiful little Nudi, and how easily it would blend on the Rose Encrusting Sponge.

You may have noticed that this little fella is dining upon the Yellow Encrusting Sponge, and it has been commented that these Nudis' are one in the same and change colour depending on their diet, not that I observed any quick change.

Liver Sponge aka Khaki Sponge

(Chondrilla australiensis)

I think the variation in colouring of these sponges are quite beautiful.

Photographs 5 & 6 look like liquid gold, wonderful colours, seems so fluid and dynamic.

I wish I had taken a bit of time and gotten closer to photographs 7 & 8, once again beautiful colours.

If I remember correctly images 1 - 6 taken on limestone reef where as images 7 & 8 where found encrusting on the pylons at Ammo Jetty

Western Staircase Sponge

(Caulospongia biflabellata)

Photographed at Blue Bay, also seen at MAAC.

Tubular Sponge

(Sycon Sp.1)

Photographed @ MAAC.

 Tubular Sponge

(Sycon Sp.2)

Photographed @ Ammo Jetty.

Encrusting Hemimycale Sponge

These two pictures to the right show the orange encrusting Hemimycale Sponge. The first appears to be encrusting on some type of bi-valve.

The second, encrusting over the Jetty Octocoral (Carijoa sp.).

is is very common, and it is usually more difficult to find Octocoral without this sponge encrusting on it.


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