The body of this sponge is orange to yellow in colour and the papillae are pale yellow. The sponge consists of a low, spreading cushion (up to 1 cm thick), with papillae projecting above the sediment covered body. The papillae are differentiated into inhalant and exhalant; the exhalant papillae are large, few in number and open at one end, and can be easily distinguished from the thinner inhalant papillae. This species was previously called Polymastia mamillaris in Britain. Polymastia mamillaris is now known to be a distinct species, found in Scandinavia but not currently known from Britain and Ireland. There are several other papillate sponges with which P. penicillus may be confused including several undescribed Polymastia species and Ciocalypta penicillus.
Belgian Exclusive Economic Zone, Celtic Seas, Kara Sea, North Sea, South European Atlantic Shelf, United Kingdom, United Kingdom Exclusive Economic Zone
- Topsent, E. 1899. Document sur la faune des Spongiaires des Côtes de Belgique. Arch. Biol., 16: 105-115. http://www.marinespecies.org/porifera/porifera.php?p=sourcedetails&id=10078
- Boury-Esnault, N. 1987. The Polymastia species (Demosponges, Hadromerida) of the Atlantic Area. Pp. 29-66. In: Vacelet, J. & Boury-Esnault, N. (Eds), Taxonomy of Porifera from the N.E. Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea. NATO ASI Series G 13. (Springer-Verlag: Berlin, Heidelberg): 1-332. http://www.marinespecies.org/porifera/porifera.php?p=sourcedetails&id=7184
- Levinsen, G.M.R. 1887. Kara-Havets Svampe (Porifera). Dijmphna-Togtets zoologisk-botaniske Udbytte 1: 339-372, pls XXIX-XXXI. http://www.marinespecies.org/porifera/porifera.php?p=sourcedetails&id=7877
- Montagu, G. 1818. An Essay on Sponges, with Descriptions of all the Species that have been discovered on the Coast of Great Britain. Memoirs of the Wernerian Natural History Society 2(1): 67-122, pls III-XVI. http://www.marinespecies.org/porifera/porifera.php?p=sourcedetails&id=7953
- MEDIN (2011). UK checklist of marine species derived from the applications Marine Recorder and UNICORN, version 1.0. http://www.marinespecies.org/asteroidea/aphia.php?p=sourcedetails&id=149081
A common species on western and southern coasts of the British Isles, also reported from the Arctic, Atlantic coasts of Europe, Mediterranean and N. America.
This species is usually found on upward facing bedrock, or at a sediment/bedrock interface with the body of the sponge beneath a layer of sediment and the papillae projecting through it.