Halichondria (Halichondria) panicea (Pallas, 1766)

Breadcrumb sponge

Halichondria (Halichondria) panicea

Port Manec’h, France, 3 meters, 2004, WBN

Halichondria (Halichondria) panicea

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

Halichondria (Halichondria) panicea

Ria d’Etel, France, 11 meters, 2007, WBN


Halichondria (Halichondria) panicea is an encrusting sponge covering surfaces of several square centimeters. According to habitat, it may form groups or even massive structures. Borders are irregular and lobe-shaped. Oscules are clearly visible and crater-shaped. The surface is smooth and glossy. The colour is variable from orange-yellow to brownish green. A symbiotic algae inhabits the sponge tissues giving it its green colour, or more rarely a reddish brown colour. This species is also strongly odoriferous.

Similar to

Often confused with other encrusting sponges whose surface sometimes resembling bread-crumb.


Halichondria (Halichondria) panicea is very frequent in the intertidal area, attached to rocks, algae, shells and can also live in deep water areas. It is recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, the English Channel, the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and down to the Mediterranean Sea.

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

Données de distribution : Halichondria (Halichondria) panicea (Pallas, 1766) in GBIF Secretariat (2019). GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist dataset accessed via on 2021-12-01.


Source : World Register of Marine Species

Biota (Superdomain)
Animalia (Kingdom)
Porifera (Phylum)
Demospongiae (Class)
Heteroscleromorpha (Subclass)
Suberitida (Order)
Halichondriidae (Family)
Halichondria (Genus)
Halichondria (Halichondria) (Subgenus)
Halichondria (Halichondria) panicea (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., june 2004, Description of Halichondria (Halichondria) panicea, [On line], consulted on 2021 December 01.


Photographie de Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat

Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat

Diver - Naturalist
Underwater Photographer

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