Polymastia boletiformis (Lamarck, 1815)

Yellow hedgehog sponge

Polymastia boletiformis

Ria d’Etel, France, 12 meters, 2008, WBN


Polymastia boletiformis is a sponge forming a smooth, hemispherical cushion base reaching up to 10 cm in diameter. Many tube-shaped outgrowths, slightly conical and between 2 to 10 cm in height, emerge from the base and are ending with the oscules. Its colour is uniform but may vary : yellow, orange, ochre, gray or greenish.

Similar to

There are other sponges of the genus Polymastia in the same geographical area. They all possess a basal cushion with erected processes. Nevertheless, they are quite easily distinguishable:
Polymastia penicillus is clearer, with a dirty yellow colour. The base is often covered with sand and the tubules are flattened, translucide and clearer than the base.
Polymastia agglutinans est de couleur jaune à rose orangé. La surface du coussinet est souvent recouverte de sable, et les tubules sont très élancés. Aaptos papillata is pale pink to purplish pink. The processes are paler, cylindrical and tip-rounded. The base is often covered with sand.


Polymastia boletiformis is found from surface to depths down to 40 meters, in the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea and the English Channel.

Image satellite: © Esri, DigitalGlobe, GeoEye, Earthstar Geographics, CNES/Airbus DS, USDA, USGS, AeroGRID, IGN, and the GIS User Community.

Données de distribution : Polymastia boletiformis (Lamarck, 1815) in GBIF Secretariat (2019). GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist dataset accessed via on 2021-12-02.


Source : World Register of Marine Species

Biota (Superdomain)
Animalia (Kingdom)
Porifera (Phylum)
Demospongiae (Class)
Heteroscleromorpha (Subclass)
Polymastiida (Order)
Polymastiidae (Family)
Polymastia (Genus)
Polymastia boletiformis (Species)

Page glossary

Oscule : opening generally quite visible, through which sponges expel water they have filtered to extract food particles.


Text : Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat © 2004 - 2021.

Photos : © Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat. Published with his kind permission.
Websites and reference works : Consult bibliography

How to cite this page

Bay-Nouailhat W., april 2004, Description of Polymastia boletiformis, [On line], consulted on 2021 December 02.


Photographie de Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat

Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat

Diver - Naturalist
Underwater Photographer

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