Darwinella australiensis, photographed by Mark Norman.

Belongs within: Porifera.
Contains: Solenoporaceae, Stromatoporoidea, Hazeliidae, Ceractinomorpha, Heteroscleromorpha.

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, Monaxonida]
    |  `--HeteroscleromorphaEL11
    `--Choia [Choiidae]EL11
         |--C. carteriCM98
         |--C. hindei (Dawson 1896)RB93
         `--C. xiaolantianensisC12
Demospongiae incertae sedis:
  Synops ancepsF79
    |--E. illawarraH15
    `--E. zimmoceaH15
  Myceliospongia araneosaMC15
    |--Moleculospina mammillata (Walcott 1920)RB93
    `--Pirania Walcott 1920B04
         |--*P. muricata Walcott 1920B04
         `--P. llanfawrensis Botting 2004B04
    |--Batospongia spicata Miller 1889RB93
         |--D. madisonensis Foerste 1909RB93
         `--D. minor Ulrich & Everett 1890RB93
    |--Leptomitus Walcott 1886 non Agardh 1824 (ICBN)C12
    |    `--L. teretiuslulusC12
    |--Paraleptomitella Chen et al. 1989RB93, C12
    |    |--P. dictyodromaC12
    |    `--P. globulaRB93
    `--Leptomitella Rigby 1986RB93, C12
         |--L. confusaRB93
         |--L. conicaC12
         `--L. metta (Rigby 1983)RB93
  Hamptonia [Hamptoniidae]RB93
    `--H. bowerbanki Walcott 1920RB93
  Wapkia [Wapkiidae]RB93
    `--W. grandis Walcott 1920RB93
  Halichondrites Dawson 1889 [Halichondritidae]C12
    |--H. confusus Dawson 1889RB93
    `--H. elissa Walcott 1920RB93
  Takakkawia [Takakkawiidae]RB93
    `--T. lineata Walcott 1920RB93
    |--Uvanella irregularis Ott 1967RB93
    `--Leinia schneebergensis Senowbari-Daryan 1990RB93
  Coetinella [Ceotinellidae]RB93
    `--C. mirunae Pantic 1975RB93
  Lemonea [Guadalupiida, Guadalupiidae]RB93
    `--L. cylindrica (Girty 1908)RB93
  Chaetetidae [Chaetetida]RB93
    |--Chaetetella filiformis Sokolov 1962RB93
    |--Blastochaetetes irregularis Wood & Reitner 1987RB93
    `--Chaetetes Fischer 1837W77
         |--C. asiaticusG31
         |--C. milleporaceus Troost in Edwards & Haime 1851 [=Calamapora milleporacea ms]W77
         `--C. pachythecalisG31
    |--Desmidopora nicholsoni Etheridge 1902F71
    `--Schizolites floriformis Preobrazhenskiy 1968RB93
  Favosichaetetes [Favosichaetetidae]RB93
    `--F. multiporosus Yang 1978RB93
  Tiverina [Tiverinidae]RB93
    `--T. vermiculata Sokolov & Tesakov 1968RB93
  Ellipsactinia [Ellipsactinidae]RB93
    `--E. ellipsoidea Steinmann 1878RB93
  Burgundia [Burgundidae]RB93
    `--B. trinorchii Dehorne 1916RB93
  Heptastylis [Spongiomorphidae]RB93
    `--H. stromatoporoides Frech 1890RB93
Inorganic: Halichondrites graphitiferus Matthew 1890H62

*Type species of generic name indicated


[AS12] Adl, S. M., A. G. B. Simpson, C. E. Lane, J. Lukeš, 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.

[B04] Botting, J. P. 2004. An exceptional Caradoc sponge fauna from the Llanfawr Quarries, central Wales and phylogenetic implications. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 2 (1): 31–63.

[C12] Chen, J.-Y. 2012. Evolutionary scenario of the early history of the animal kingdom: evidence from Precambrian (Ediacaran) Weng’an and Early Cambrian Maotianshan biotas, China. In: Talent, J. A. (ed.) Earth and Life: Global biodiversity, extinction intervals and biogeographic perturbations through time pp. 239–379. Springer.

[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.

[F71] Fletcher, H. O. 1971. Catalogue of type specimens of fossils in the Australian Museum, Sydney. Australian Museum Memoir 13: 1–167.

[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.

[G31] Grabau, A. W. 1931. The Permian of Mongolia: A report on the Permian fauna of the Jisu Honguer limestone of Mongolia and its relations to the Permian of other parts of the world. American Museum of Natural History: New York.

[H62] Häntzschel, W. 1962. Trace fossils and problematica. In: Moore, R. C. (ed.) Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology pt W. Miscellanea: Conodonts, Conoidal Shells of Uncertain Affinities, Worms, Trace Fossils and Problematica pp. W177–W245. Geological Society of America, and University of Kansas Press.

[H15] Hedley, C. 1915. Presidential address. Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales 49 (1): 1–77, pls 1–7.

[HS02] Höfling, R., & R. W. Scott. 2002. Early and Mid-Cretaceous buildups. SEPM Special Publication 72: 521–548.

[JB12] Johnson, M. E., & B. G. Baarli. 2012. Development of intertidal biotas through Phanerozoic time. In: Talent, J. A. (ed.) Earth and Life: Global biodiversity, extinction intervals and biogeographic perturbations through time pp. 63–128. Springer.

[MC15] Morrow, C., & P. Cárdenas. 2015. Proposal for a revised classification of the Demospongiae (Porifera). Frontiers in Zoology 12: 7.

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

[RB93] Rigby, J. K., G. E. Budd, R. A. Wood & F. Debrenne. 1993. Porifera. In: Benton, M. J. (ed.) The Fossil Record 2 pp. 71–99. Chapman & Hall: London.

[W77] White, C. A. 1877. Report upon the invertebrate fossils collected in portions of Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona, by parties of the expeditions of 1871, 1872, 1873, and 1874. U.S. Geographical Surveys West of the One Hundredth Meridian 4 (1): 1–219, pls 1–21.

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