Leiosella sp. MoV 6715

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Sponges in this genus may be cup-shaped, fan-shaped, lobed or spreading over the substrate. All species are armoured with a thin layer of sand incorporated into the ectosome. Primary and secondary fibres make up the skeleton.

Brief species characters:
Growth form: irregular.
Mineral skeleton: absent.
Surface texture: conulose, membranous.

Family level characters:
The familiar cosmetic or bath sponges belong in this family. All members are characterised by their even (homogeneous) skeletal fibre construction in which they lack a central core (pith) or layering (lamination). One or both of these features can be seen in the fibres of sponges in the other families of collagenous sponges. The six genera in this family containing no native spicules to aid identification, instead they are distinguished using a combination of surface features and differences in the structure of their fibre skeletons. It is due to the density of the fibres in these sponges that they are both spongy and tough.

Order level characters:
This order is the first of three orders of sponges that do not contain native spicules - the collagenous sponges. All dictyoceratid sponges are supported by a spongin fibre skeleton. In most, the fibres are organised as a hierarchy of larger primary, smaller secondary and in some, fine tertiary fibres. These sponges are generally tough and flexible, but with a tendency to incorporate detritus into the matrix, they can become hard and brittle. If present, spicules found in these sponges are an element of the incorporated debris, (i.e. foreign). The taxonomy of these sponges is based on surface features and fibre characteristics. Dictyoceratid sponges often exhibit a darker outer region with a paler interior. There are four families in this order, all of which are represented here.

Source: Goudie, L., Norman, M. N. and Finn, J. K. (in press) Sponges, Museum Victoria.



General Description

A white, massive sponge species with irregular form. Size of about 20 cm.


The dense secondary fibre network that characterises these sponges leaves them compressible yet firm, a feature that renders them unsuitable for bathroom use.


Reef and sandy areas, to depth of 5 m.

Sponge gardens


Soft substrates

Distribution guide

Port Phillip in Victoria.

Species Group

Sponges Demosponges


Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

20 cm


Plankton or particles

Commercial Species


Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Species Code

sp. MoV 6715


Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed


article author Goudie, L.

Lisa Goudie is a consultant with expertise in sponge taxonomy.


Cite this page as:
Goudie, L., 2011, Sponge, Leiosella , in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 19 Feb 2020,

Text: creative commons cc by licence