Darwinella australiensis, photographed by Mark Norman.

Belongs within: Animalia.
Contains: Solenoporaceae, Democlavia, Dictyoceratida, Dysideidae, Chondrillidae.

The Demospongiae is a group of sponges characterised by the presence of spicules composed of silicon dioxide, spongin fibres or a combination of the two. The earliest definite body fossils of the Demospngiae date from the early Cambrian period, though chemical biomarkers suggest a much earlier origin during the Cryogenian (Erwin et al. 2011).

Characters (from Adl et al. 2012): Spongin and siliceous spicules in matrix, sometimes absent; spicules not triaxonic, with hollow triangular canal and four rays, not perpendicular; larva with outer monociliated cells, except at posterior pole.

<==Demospongiae [Cornacuspongida, Demospongea, Hadromerina, Myxospongiae]
    |--Choia carteri EL11, CM98
    `--+--Democlavia EL11
       `--Ceractinomorpha [Ceratellida, Ceratosa] EL11
            |--+--Dictyoceratida B30
            |  `--Dysideidae EL11
            `--+--Verongula EL11
               `--+--Chondrillidae EL11
                  `--Dendroceratida B30
                       |  i. s.: Halisarca B30
                       |--Dictyodendrilla [Dictyodendrillidae] MG-H11
                       `--Darwinellidae MG-H11
                            |--Darwinella australiensis Carter 1885 BJ06
                            `--Dendrilla MG-H11
                                 |--D. lacunosa Hentschel 1912 BJ06
                                 |--D. lendenfeldi Hentschel 1912 BJ06
                                 `--D. mertoni Hentschel 1912 BJ06

Demospongiae incertae sedis:
  Ophlitaspongia seriata Grant 1865 F79
  Rhizaxinella burtoni F79
  Chondrocladia gigantea F79
  Pachymatisma johnstonia F79
  Neofibularia mordens F79
  Synops anceps F79
  Esperiopsis digitata F79
  Verongida MG-H11
    |--Verongia archeri CH97
    |--Suberea [Aplysinellidae] MG-H11
    |--Pseudoceratina [Pseudoceratinidae] MG-H11
    `--Aplysina [Aplysinidae] MG-H11
         `--A. mollis BJ06
              |--A. m. mollis BJ06
              `--A. m. aruensis Hentschel 1912 BJ06
  Ianthella F79
  Lissodendoryx L01
    |--L. firma L01
    `--L. kyma L01
  Aplysilla C-SC03
    |--A. rosacea F79
    `--A. sulfurea C-SC03
  Anthracosyconidae RB04
  Collatipora Finks 1960 RB04
  Solenoporaceae R04
  Euspongia AS12

*Type species of generic name indicated


[AS12] Adl, S. M., A. G. B. Simpson, C. E. Lane, J. LukeŇ°, D. Bass, S. S. Bowser, M. W. Brown, F. Burki, M. Dunthorn, V. Hampl, A. Heiss, M. Hoppenrath, E. Lara, E. Le Gall, D. H. Lynn, H. McManus, E. A. D. Mitchell, S. E. Mozley-Stanridge, L. W. Parfrey, J. Pawlowski, S. Rueckert, L. Shadwick, C. L. Schoch, A. Smirnov & F. W. Spiegel. 2012. The revised classification of eukaryotes. Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology 59 (5): 429–493.

[BJ06] Barnich, R., & D. Janussen. 2006. Die Typen und Typoide des Naturmuseums Senckenberg, Nr. 86. Type catalogue of the Porifera in the collections of the Senckenberg Museum in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Senckenbergiana Biologica 86 (2): 127–144.

[B30] Bidder, G. P. 1930. On the classification of sponges. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London 141: 44–47.

[CH97] Castro, P., & M. E. Huber. 1997. Marine Biology 2nd ed. WCB McGraw-Hill: Boston.

[C-SC03] Cavalier-Smith, T., & E. E.-Y. Chao. 2003. Phylogeny of Choanozoa, Apusozoa, and other Protozoa and early eukaryote megaevolution. Journal of Molecular Evolution 56: 540–563.

[CM98] Conway Morris, S. 1998. The Crucible of Creation. Oxford University Press: Oxford.

[EL11] Erwin, D. H., M. Laflamme, S. M. Tweedt, E. A. Sperling, D. Pisani & K. J. Peterson. 2011. The Cambrian conundrum: early divergence and later ecological success in the early history of animals. Science 334: 1091–1097.

[F79] Fry, W. G. 1979. Taxonomy, the individual and the sponge. In: Larwood, G., & B. R. Rosen (eds) Biology and Systematics of Colonial Organisms pp. 49–80. Academic Press: London.

[L01] Lee, W. L. 2001. Four new species of Forcepia (Porifera, Demospongiae, Poecilosclerida, Coelosphaeridae) from California, and synonymy of Wilsa de Laubenfels, 1930, with Forcepia, Carter, 1874. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 52 (18): 227–244.

[MG-H11] McEnnulty, F. R., K. L. Gowlett-Holmes, A. Williams, F. Althaus, J. Fromont, G. C. B. Poore, T. D. O'Hara, L. Marsh, P. Kott, S. Slack-Smith, P. Alderslade & M. V. Kitahara. 2011. The deepwater megabenthic invertebrates on the western continental margin of Australia (100–1100 m depths): composition, distribution and novelty. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 80: 1–191.

[R04] Riding, R. 2004. Solenopora is a chaetetid sponge, not an alga. Palaeontology 47: 117–122.

[RB04] Rigby, J. K., & D. W. Boyd. 2004. Sponges from the Park City Formation (Permian) of Wyoming. Journal of Paleontology 78 (1): 71–76.

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