Sea Anemone Reproduction: Patterns and Adaptive Radiations

  • Fu-Shiang Chia


It is known that sea anemones (Anthozoa: Actinaria) are capable of reproducing in a variety of ways both sexually and asexually (Stephenson, 1928; Hyman, 1940; Uchida and Yamada, 1968). Even in the same species the mode of reproduction may differ from population to population (Schmidt, 1967; Rossi, 1975; personal observations). The versatility of reproduction can, perhaps, be best illustrated by Stephenson’s comment (1928): “... breeding, from our imperfect knowledge of it, would appear to be erratic, the individual being a law unto itself.”


Asexual Reproduction Adaptive Radiation Larval Life Larval Diet Subtidal Environment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Blockmann, F. and C. Hilger. 1888. Über Gonactinia prolifera Sars, eine durch Quertheilung sich vermechrende Actinie. Morph. Jahrb. Leipzig, 13: 385–401.Google Scholar
  2. Campbell, R. D. 1974. Cnidaria In Reproduction of Marine Invertebrates I. Acoelomate and Pseudocoelomate Metazoans. (Giese, A. C. and J. S. Pearse, ds.) Academic Press, New York, pp. 133–199.Google Scholar
  3. Carlgren, O. 1934. Some Actinaria from Bering Sea and Arctic waters. J. Washington Acad. Sci. 24: 348–353.Google Scholar
  4. Carlgren, O. 1949. A survey of the Ptychodactiaria, Corallimorpharia, and Actinaria. K. Svenska Vetenskap. Handl. 1: 1–120.Google Scholar
  5. Cary, L. 1911. Pedal laceration in actinians. Biol. Bull. 20: 81–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chia, F. S. 1976. Classification and adaptive significance of developmental patterns in marine invertebrates. Thalassia Jugoslavica (in press).Google Scholar
  7. Chia, F. S. and J. G. Spaulding. 1972. Development and juvenile growth of the sea anemone Tealia crassicornis. Biol. Bull. 142 (2): 206–218.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dunn, D. F. 1972. Natural history of the sea anemone, Epiactis prolifera Verrill, 1869, with special reference to its reproductive biology. Ph.D. Thesis, Univ. Calif. Berkeley. 187 pp.Google Scholar
  9. Gemmili, J. F. 1920. The development of the sea anemones Metridium dianthus (Ellis) and Adamsia palliata (Bohadsch). Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. London 209: 352–375.Google Scholar
  10. Gemmili, J. F. 1921. The development of the sea anemone Bolocera tueidae (Johnst.). Q. J. Microsc. Sci. 65: 577–587.Google Scholar
  11. Hammatt, M. L. 1906. Reproduction in Metridium by fragmental fission. Amer. Nat. 40: 583–591.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hand, C. 1955a. The sea anemones of central California. Part II. The endomyarian and mesomyarian anemones. Wasmann. J. Biol. 13 (1): 37–99.Google Scholar
  13. Hand, C. 1955b. The sea anemones of central California. Part III. The acontiarian anemones. Wasmann J. Biol. 13 (2): 189–251.Google Scholar
  14. Hyman, L. H. 1940. The Invertebrates. I. Protozoa through Ctenophora. McGraw-Hill, New York. pp. 365–661.Google Scholar
  15. Jägersten, G. 1972. Evolution of the metazoan life cycle. Academic Press, New York. pp. 280.Google Scholar
  16. Mergner, H. 1971. Cnidaria. In Experimental Embryology of Marine and Freshwater Invertebrates. (Reverberi, G., ed.). American Elsevier Co., Inc., New York. pp. 1–84.Google Scholar
  17. Nyholm, K. G. 1949. On the development and disperal of Athenaria with special reference to Halcampa duodecimcirrata. Zool. Bidr. Fran Uppsala 27: 467–505.Google Scholar
  18. Nyholm, K. G. 1959. On the development of the primitive actinian Protanthea simplex Carlgren. Zool. Bidr. Fran Uppsala 33: 69–77.Google Scholar
  19. Parry, G. 1951. Actinaria of New Zealand. Part I. Rec. Cant. Mus. 6: 83–119.Google Scholar
  20. Robson, E. A. 1966. Swimming in Actinaria. In The Cnidaria and their Evolution (Rees, W. J., ed.). Academic Press, New York. pp. 333–360.Google Scholar
  21. Rossi, L. 1975. Sexual races in Cereus pedunculatus (Boad). Pubbl. Staz. Zool. Napol 39 (suppl.): 462–470.Google Scholar
  22. Schmidt, H. 1967. A note on the sea anemone, Bunodactis verrucosa Pennant. Pubbl. Staz. Zool. Napol. 35: 252–253.Google Scholar
  23. Schmidt, H. 1970. Anthopleura stellula (Actiniaria, Actiniidae) and its reproduction by transferse fission. Mar. Biol. 5 (3): 245–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Schmidt, H. 1972. Prodromus zu einer Monographie der Mediterranen Aktinien. Zoologica 42: 1-146. (This important reference came to my attention only after the manuscript was completed.)Google Scholar
  25. Siebert, A. E., Jr. 1973. A description of the sea anemone Stomphia didemon sp. nov. and its development. Pac. Sci. 27 (4): 363–373.Google Scholar
  26. Siebert, A. E. 1974. A description of the embryology, larval development and feeding of the sea anemones Anthopleura elegantissima and Anthopleura xanthogrammica. Can. Jour. Zool. 52: 1338–1383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Siebert, A. E. and C. Hand. 1974. A description of the sea anemone Halcampa crypta, new species. Wasmann Jour. Biol. 32 (2): 327–336.Google Scholar
  28. Siebert, A. E. and J. G. Spaulding. 1976. The taxonomy, development and brooding behavior of the anemone, Cribrinopsis fernaldi sp. nov. Biol. Bull. 150: 128–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Spaulding, J. G. 1972. The life cycle of Peachia quinquecapitata, an anemone parasitic on medusae during its larval development. Biol. Bull. 143: 440–453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Spaulding, J. G. 1974. Embryonic and larval development in sea anemones (Anthozoa: Actiniaria). Am. Zool. 14 (2): 511–520.Google Scholar
  31. Stephenson, T. S. 1928 and 1935. The British Sea Anemones. Vols. I and II. London, Ray Society.Google Scholar
  32. Strathmann, M. 1969. Cnidaria. Methods in developmental biology. Laboratory manual, Friday Harbor Laboratories, Univ. of Wash.Google Scholar
  33. Torrey, H. B. and J. R. Mery. 1904. Regeneration and non-sexual reproduction in Sagartia davisi. Univ. Calif. Publ. Zool. Berkeley 3: 211–226.Google Scholar
  34. Uchida, T. and F. Iwata. 1954. On the development of a broodcaring actinian. J. Fac. Sci. Hokkaido Univ. Series VI. Zool. 12.Google Scholar
  35. — and M. Yamada. 1968. Cnidaria In Invertebrate Embryology (Kume, M. and Dan, K., eds.). J. C. Dan, transi. Nolit Publ. House, Belgrade, pp. 86-116.Google Scholar
  36. Walton, A. C. 1918. Longitudinal fission in Actinia: J. Morph. 31: 43–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Widersten, B. 1963. On the morphology and development in some cnidarian larvae. Zool. Bidr. Uppsala 37: 139–182.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fu-Shiang Chia
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

Personalised recommendations