Poecilosclerida is an order of the demosponge class. It is the most speciose demosponge order with over 2200 species (World Porifera Database[2]). It contains about 25 recognised families. They are characterised by having chelae microscleres, that is, the minute spicules scattered through the tissues, usually in the 10-60 μm range, have a shovel-like structure on the end.[3]

Hemimycale columella 1 (Bowerbank, 1874).jpg
Hemimycale columella (Hymedesmiidae)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Porifera
Class: Demospongiae
Order: Poecilosclerida
Topsent, 1928

See text [1]

Most of the families are viviparous with parenchymella larvae that are uniformly ciliated.[3]


As of 2018, the following families are recognized:[1]


  1. ^ a b WoRMS (2021). "Poecilosclerida". WoRMS. World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 4 April 2021.
  2. ^ "Porifera news". marinespecies.org. World Porifera Database. Retrieved 4 April 2021.
  3. ^ a b van Soest, Rob. "Order Poecilosclerida". species-identification.org. Marine Species Identification Portal. Retrieved 4 April 2021.
  4. ^ a b Merrick Ekins, Dirk Erpenbeck, Lisa Goudie, John N. A. Hooper: New carnivorous sponges and allied species from the Great Australian Bight. In: ZooTaxa Volume 4878, No. 2. Jan 2021. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.4878.2.2. Along with: