Edwardsiidae Andres, 1881

Daly, Marymegan & Ljubenkov, John C., 2008, Edwardsiid sea anemones of California (Cnidaria: Actiniaria: Edwardsiidae), with descriptions of eight new species, Zootaxa 1860, pp. 1-27: 4

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Edwardsiidae Andres, 1881


Family Edwardsiidae Andres, 1881 

Definition. Actiniaria  with elongate, vermiform body usually divisible into two or more regions: between long scapus provided with periderm and short capitulum may be short scapulus that lacks periderm and epidermal specializations. Aboral end rounded, without basilar muscles, may be differentiated into a physa. Single weak siphonoglyph. No sphincter muscle or acontia. Mesenteries divisible into macro­ and micro­cnemes; always eight perfect, fertile macrocnemes and at least four microcnemes. Macrocnemes comprise two pairs of directives and four lateral mesenteries, two on each side, whose retractors face sulcar (= ventral) directives. Retractors restricted, diffuse to strongly circumscript; parietal muscles always distinct. (Modified from Carlgren, 1949, changes in italics.)

Remarks. We have substituted Actiniaria  for Athenaria, as Athenaria is now recognized to be of limited taxonomic or phylogenetic value (e.g., Daly et al. 2002, 2003). Carlgren (1949) seems to have confused the scapulus and capitulum in his definition of the family: the capitulum, the region of the column with relatively thinner mesoglea and a more glandular epidermis is typically present in edwardsiids, whereas the scapulus, which resembles the scapus but lacks nemathybomes or periderm, is less common. Carlgren’s term “cuticle” has been changed to “periderm,” as this is typically what the sheath of sediment and mucus covering the column is called in Edwardsiidae  (e.g., Carlgren 1921, 1942). Furthermore, “cuticle” is used to refer to the chitinous covering in some members of Acontiaria and Mesomyaria (e.g., Chondrophellia, Hadalanthus  , Galatheanthemum  ), and the homology between the periderm of edwardsiids and the cuticle of other anemones is unknown.