Abstract Transplantation was employed to determine how marine sponges grow in different in situ conditions of light and current. The growth of Verongia aerophoba (Schmidt), which contained symbiotic cyanobacteria. was enhanced in light, particularly when sediment was excluded by a clear shield. V. cavernicola Vacelet and Chondrosia reniformis Nardo. which did not contain cyanobacteria, grew preferentially in the shade and were inhibited by light. The growth of Petrosia ficiformis (Poirct) and Chondrilla nucula Schmidt, which may or may not contain cyanobacteria. did not appear to be favoured by either light or shade. The growth of sponges in lower current speeds was considerably reduced ; this reduction was. however, partially reversed in those sponges with cyanobacteria when grown in the light. Presumably symbiotic cyanobacteria are beneficial to sponges growing in the light because they transfer photosynthetically fixed nutrient and shield the underlying tissue. Significant morphological differences were observed in sponges grown under different environmental conditions.