An Electrophysiological Analysis of Behavioural Integration in Colonial Anthozoans

  • Peter A. V. Anderson


Coloniality has apparently arisen independently on several occasions in the Cnidaria (Hyman, 1940). In anthozoans alone there is evidence of four distinct colonial groups. The polyps that comprise anthozoan colonies, while having morphological variations consistent with the groupings of Octocorallia and Hexacorallia, all closely follow the anthozoan body plan. This structural uniformity is reflected in the constancy of certain behaviours. Thus, retraction, expansion and feeding are carried out in basically the same way by octocorallian, hexacorallian and solitary polyps (Horridge, 1957). Indeed, Buisson (1973) suggests that pennatulid polyps are even capable of the slow rhythmical contractions of column musculature typical of actinians (Batham and Pantin, 1950).


Electrical Activity Conduction System Simultaneous Recording Retractor Muscle Autonomous Behaviour 
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. Anderson, P.A.V., 1976a. The Electrophysiology of the Organ-Pipe Coral, Tubipora musaice. In press, Biol. Bull. 150.Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, P.A.V., 1976b. An Electrophysiological Study of Mechanisms Controlling Polyp Retracting in Colonies of the Scleractinian Coral Goniopora lobata. In press, J. Exp. Biol. Google Scholar
  3. Anderson, P.A.V. and J.F. Case, 1975. Electrical Activity Associated with Luminescence and Other Colonial Behavior in the Pennatulid Renilla kVllikeri. Biol. Bull., 149:80–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Batham, E. J. and C.F.A. Pantin, 1950. Inherent Activity in the Sea Anemone Metridium senile (L). J. Exp Biol., 27:290–301.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Bertsch, H., 1968. Effects of Feeding by Armina californica on Bioluminescence of Renilla kollikeri. Veliger, 10:440–441.Google Scholar
  6. Buisson, B., 1973. Données sur le Comportement Rythmique du Polype Isolé de la Colonie de Veretillum cynomorium Pall. (Cnidaria Pennatularia). C. R. Acad. Soi. Paris, 277:1541–1544.Google Scholar
  7. Horridge, G.A., 1957. The Co-ordination of the Protective Retraction of Coral Polyps. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. Lond. B., 675: 495–529.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hyman, L.H., 1940. The Invertebrates. Protozoa Through Ctenophora. McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York.Google Scholar
  9. Josephson, R.K., R.F. Reiss and R.M., Worthy, 1961. A Simulation Study of a Diffuse Conducting System Based on Coelenterate Nerve Nets. J. Theoret. Biol., 1:460–486.Google Scholar
  10. Kastendiek, J., 1975. The Behavior, Distribution and Predator-Prey Interactions of Renilla köllikeri. Ph.D. Thesis, University of California, Los Angeles. 235 pp.Google Scholar
  11. McFarlane, I.D., 1969. Two Slow Conduction Systems in the Sea Anemone Calliactis parasitica. J. Exp. Biol., 51:377–385.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. McFarlane, I.D., 1973. Spontaneous Contractions and Nerve Net Activity in the Sea Anemone Calliaotis parasitica. Mar. Behav. Physiol., 2:97–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Parker, G.H., 1920. Activities of Colonial Animals. II. Neuromuscular Movements and Phosphoresenee of Renilla. J. Exp. Zool., 31:475–515.Google Scholar
  14. Robson, E.A. and R.K. Josephson, 1969. Neuromuscular Properties of Mesenteries from the Sea Anemone Metridium. J. Exp. Biol., 50:151–168.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Shelton, G.A.B., 1975a. Electrical Activity and Colonial Behaviour in Anthozoan Hard Corals. Nature, Lond., 253:558–560.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Shelton, G.A.B., 1975b. Colonial Behaviour and Electrical Activity in the Hexacorallia. Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B., 190:239–256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter A. V. Anderson
    • 1
  1. 1.University of California, Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraUSA

Personalised recommendations