Most all sponges can reproduce asexually, by regenerating tissues. Sponges also reproduce sexually. Being hermaphroditic, sperm and eggs can be reproduced, sequentially or at the same time. Choanocytes give rise to egg and sperm cells, and archaeocyte cells also give rise to egg cells. Sperm and eggs are released in the water, and most species cross fertilize. Fertilized eggs will develop into free-swimming larvae.
Key Reproductive Features: simultaneous hermaphrodite; sequential hermaphrodite; sexual ; asexual ; fertilization (External ); viviparous
There is no parental investment beyond release of gametes.
- Brusca, R., G. Brusca. 2003. Invertebrates. Sunderland, Massachusetts: Sinauer Associates, Inc..
- Wörheide, G. 2002. "Calcarea Introduction" (On-line). Gert Wörheide's homepage about geobiology. Accessed January 13, 2005 at http://wwwuser.gwdg.de/~gwoerhe/calcarea_introduction.html.