5 Calcareous Sponge Types & Characteristics

The calcareous sponges belong to the class calcarea and are primitively known under the porifera phylum. Let us see their types in detail.

  • Guancha lacunosa
  • Sycon quadrangulatum
  • Demosponge
  • Stromatoporoidea
  • Baerida

Guancha lacunosa

Guancha lacunosa are commonly known as Clathrina lacunosa. Guancha lacunosa is flat with tiny tubes which are smooth. They are 3cm in diameter and are attached to the stalk. The distribution can be seen in the East Atlantic, from the Mediterranean in the South, to the Arctic in the north.

Sycon Quadrangulatum

A sea squirt can be mistaken for Sycon Quadrangulatum based on its shape and the single opening (oscule) at the end. The distribution can be Atlantic coast of Europe, from the Mediterranean to the coast of Norway. Fine hairs frame the opening. There are three colors to choose from: white, gray, or light brown. Usually, it lives for no more than one year before reaching a length of 9 cm.


Depending on the species, demospongiae range in size from a few millimeters to over 2 meters. In addition to thin encrustations, they can also form lumps, finger-like growths, and urn shapes. Various pigments in amoebocytes make them colored, including yellow, orange, red, purple, and green.

Calcareous Sponges Leucettidae 8458018571
Image Credits: Calcareous Sponges by Bernard DUPONT (CC BY-SA 2.0)


Layers called laminae make up the stromatoporoids structure. Pillars and galleries separate laminae, which are vertical structures.


A baeridian is a leuconoid calcareous sponge that has a skeleton consisting exclusively of microdiactines, or in which microdiactines primarily consist of a specific sector of the skeleton, such as the chicano skeleton or the atrium.

Calcareous sponges characteristics

Based on the features present on the calcareous sponges, we can frame up the characteristics. Let us see the characteristic features of calcareous sponges in detail.

  • Calcareous sponges have hard crystal-like structures which are rich in calcium carbonate.
  • Calcareous sponges are seen in many different shapes which may include a variety of massive forms.
  • Calcareous sponges can be in the shape of a vase (body) on the stalk or thin tube meshworks.
  • The exciting fact of Calcareous sponges is their supporting skeleton system which is rich in calcium and star shaped morphological elements which are called as spicules.
  • The pointed spicules can be two or three or even four based on that specific species.
  • Calcareous sponges can proliferate or multiply using budding mode of multiplication.

Calcareous Lifespan

Life span is the measure in which the maximum number of years a specific organism can live. Let us discuss the life span of Calcareous Sponge.

The lifespan of calcareous sponges are estimated to be about 1 to 16 months (mean value: 4.7 Months). This may vary based on the species but the average estimated lifespan is about 4.7 months unless and until they are predated by other organisms which is not only for edible purposes.

Calcareous life cycle

The life cycle of an organism involves the development and maturation stages which results in reproduction. Let us see the life cycle of calcareous sponges.

  • The life cycle of calcareous sponges is that they multiply using the budding mode of proliferation.
  • There is also a fusion of both the gametes.
  • Then, the development of the functional element (egg) takes place.
  • During the larval stage the spicules are formed and finally the tiny larvae break out into the water and start to swim (not more than 2 days).
  • The development and the maturation of the young ones takes place within the aquatic system, but once the little ones are released they do not swim for more than 2 days.


This article exclusively explains the types of calcareous sponges, their characteristics and their geographical distribution. The article also speaks about the life span of calcareous sponges and also their development, maturation of the tiny ones which is their life cycle.

Read more about Demosponge.

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