Zoanthus Lamarck, 1801,

Low, Martyn E. Y., Sinniger, Frederic & Reimer, James Davis, 2016, The order Zoantharia Rafinesque, 1815 (Cnidaria, Anthozoa: Hexacorallia): supraspecific classification and nomenclature, ZooKeys 641, pp. 1-80: 6

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Zoanthus Lamarck, 1801


Zoanthus Lamarck, 1801 

Zoanthus  Cuvier, 1800: tables 9-10 [nomen nudum].

Zoanthus  (as “Zoantha”) Lamarck, 1801: 363.

Mammillifera  Le Sueuer, 1817: 177.

Actimastus  Rafinesque, 1818: 271 [unnecessary replacement name]

Mamillifera  Quoy & Gaimard, 1834: 169 [incorrect spelling]

Anthozoon  Gistel, 1848: 181 [unnecessary replacement name]

Mammilifera  Gistel, 1848: 181[incorrect spelling]

Polythoa (Mammithoa)  Andres, 1883a: 521.

Polythoa (Mammothoa)  Andres, 1883a: 533 [incorrect spelling].

Zoanthus (Rhyzanthus)  Andres, 1883a: 538.

Type species.

Actinia sociata  Ellis, 1768, by monotypy.




Zooxanthellate, absence of mineral incrustations in the column/coenenchyme (excluding superficial surface attachments) brachycnemic zoantharians with smooth, usually erect polyps-except in Zoanthus praelongus  Carlgren, 1954 (see discussion below)-with no endodermal invaginations. Mesogleal sphincter muscle with clear distal and proximal sections, mesogleal canal system but no encircling sinus ( Duerden 1898, Swain and Swain 2014).


Species of the genus Zoanthus  and Acrozoanthus  have a double sphincter muscle, which is unique among zoantharians. Referred to in Swain et al. (2015) as discontiguous mesogleal type.

Despite over 150 species having been described in or assigned to this genus (see Fautin and Buddemeier 2008), many of the species-group names are likely to be synonyms-due to the high level of intraspecific morphological variation (see Burnett et al. 1995, 1997, Reimer et al. 2004). One species, Zoanthus praelongus  Carlgren, 1954, has recumbent (non-erect) polyps (as in the genus Isaurus  ) but is clearly referable to Zoanthus  (see Carlgren 1954, Muirhead and Ryland 1985, Reimer et al. 2008b).