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Anemonia sulcata

(Pennant, 1777)

David Fenwick Snr Does anyone know why WoRMS are listing both Anemonia sulcata (Pennant, 1777) and Anemonia viridis (Forskål, 1775) as accepted?

Allen Collins Good question. Both are listed as valid in the Hexacorallia database: http://hercules.kgs.ku.edu/Hexacoral/Anemone2/genus_search_valid.cfm?genus=Anemonia

Allen Collins But the synonymy for A. viridis seems to include A. sulcata in the same source. Daphne Fautin would answer your question.

David Fenwick Snr EOL and HABITAS would seem to confirm that both species are now independant of each other. I know it's reported on Marlin, Howson & Picton (1997), that the brown form might be a distinct species, but I cannot find any confirmation of this or any information confirming the separation and how they must now be separated from each other.

Marco Faasse The brown variety has been called Anemonia rustica, but I don't know if it has been formally described. Williams (1992) Pedal disc detachment (...) colour varieties. - Scientia Marina 56(4): 337-346 refers to German publications which I don't have. WoRMS considers A. rustica a nomen dubium.

David Fenwick Snr Have just found that there are records for both species on the UK NBN database so it appears both are accepted from the UK. One piece I have found states - ''There is some evidence that in the Mediterranean and in the Atlantic outside the British area, the brown form of Anemonia may be a distinct species (e.g. Bulnheim & Sauer, 1984; Williams, 1992) but this is yet to be confirmed''. So this would potentially exclude records of A. sulcata from the UK. VERY PUZZLING.

David Fenwick Snr If what I gather is correct, an image I have taken at the National Marine Aquarium possibly shows A. sulcata centre; and A. viridis to the right of it. http://www.aphotomarine.com/images/sea_anemones/snakelock_anemone_anemonia_viridis_17-04-09.jpg

David Fenwick Snr All this has come about on looking at Victorian common names for UK species, Anemonia sulcata appears in a text and is reffered to as the Opelet.

Bernard Picton I kept both those names as someone told me they had evidence that there were two species, but I don't think anything definitive has been published. The Hexacorallia database and WoRMS (a derivative) list several names as valid which I think are synonyms. Actinothoe anguicoma and Sagartiogeton undatus are synonyms according to Manuel's Linn. Soc. Synopsis.

David Fenwick Snr Thanks Bernard, what troubles me is that I 'roughly' annually check WoRMS for changes in status. I'm sure that the last time I checked A. sulcatus was included as a synonym as I would have raised the issue before now, quite strange what has happened but of course wouldn't be the first time; until recently Spirorbis were largely unsorted and presented in a similar manner. On Sagartiogeton, Sagartiogeton viduatus was strangly mentioned in the book I was reading over and above any other species. Perhaps it was more common over 100 years ago or maybe it has been grossly overlooked in the UK; reported in the book as only opening at night. Ref: Edward Step; By the Deep Sea. A Popular Introduction to the Wild Life of the British Shores. 1896. Quite a good rockpooling read. Book freely available online as a PDF file.

Bernard Picton I think there was quite a bit of confusion over the Sagartiogeton species. S. viduatus is quite common in Zostera beds in Norway, it is quite small. I've never seen it in the UK or Ireland. http://unreality.se/pictures/2752

David Fenwick Snr I think if it was around here on eelgrass I'd have seen it. Found some other pics from Norway last night.

Marco Faasse If there really are two or more European Anemonia species it seems possible that the holotype of A. sulcata belongs to one of them and the holotype of A. viridis to another. In that situation it would be unwise to synonymise the two before being sure how many, and which, Anemone (not anemone) species we have.

David Fenwick Snr So nomen limbus, a reservation? Agree unwise to synonymise. Hopefully the situation will get sorted.

David Fenwick Snr Daphne Fautin has very kindly contributed via Wim at WoRMS - Opinions have been divided on whether these are separate species; some opinions are that they are separate subspecies. The source of the WoRMS information provides full information about who has considered them separate and who has considered them synonyms. Until there is a single source that demonstrates they are a single species, and accounts for the differences in opinion, they will remain as separate lists in Hexacorallians of the World.

Bernard Picton That makes good sense. I always cite Palio nothus and Palio dubia. These were (wrongly) synonymised for a period so there are a lot of records which cannot now be attributed to the correct species.

Message posted on NE Atlantic Cnidaria on 04 Dec 2012
Animalia (Kingdom)
  Cnidaria (Phylum)
    Anthozoa (Class)
      Hexacorallia (Subclass)
        Actiniaria (Order)
          Nyantheae (Suborder)
            Thenaria (Infraorder)
              Endomyaria (Superfamily)
                Actiniidae (Family)
                  Anemonia (Genus)
                    Anemonia sulcata (Species)
Associated Species