Taonura sp. MoV 6694

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Sponges in this genus are characteristically soft and may be stalked, cup-shaped or branching with fronds (foliaceous). They lack a sand-armoured cortex and have a regular network of fibres forming an almost rectangular mesh. The large primary fibres have a core of sand grains, while the connecting secondary fibres are uncored, or clear of sand.

Brief species characters:
Growth form: flabelliform, branching.
Mineral skeleton: absent.
Surface texture: conulose, porous.

Family level characters:
Representatives of this widespread family occur in all oceans except polar seas. The 23 genera are distinguished from other dictyoceratid sponges by their layered or laminated fibres, appearing microscopically like layers of bark, and by the lack of the fine, collagen fibrils found in the Family Irciniidae. Taxonomy within the family is based on the presence or absence of a sand-armoured cortex, attributes of the fibre skeleton and for some genera, the characteristic growth forms (i.e. honey-combed or digitate).

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 sandy-grey sponge species, flabelliform to branching. Size of about 30 cm.


Sand and muddy areas, to depth of 10 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

30 cm


Plankton or particles

Commercial Species


Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Species Code

sp. MoV 6694


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, Taonura , in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 20 May 2024,

Text: creative commons cc by licence