Of the ~8,500 sponge species that are known to exist, approximately 3% inhabit freshwater. Taxonomically, freshwater sponges are divided into 6 families with less than 250 identified species. Of these, 33 species of freshwater sponge can be found in the Nearctic Biogeographical realm with 13 species documented in Tennessee waters. Species of three families, Metanidae, Potamolepidae, and Spongillidae, are known to occur in the United States but only members of Potamolepidae and Spongillidae have been collected from Tennessee waters. This article presents a species checklist with currently known distribution information.
Copeland, John E.
"Checklist of the Freshwater Sponges (Porifera: Spongillida) of Tennessee,"
Cumberland Mountain Naturalist: Vol. 1
, Article 1.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lmunet.edu/cumberland_mountain_naturalist/vol1/iss1/1