Please visit our Sponsors

Related FAQs: Corallimorphs, Mushrooms 2, Mushrooms 3, Mushrooms 4, Mushroom Identification, Mushroom ID 2, Mushroom ID 3, Mushroom ID 4, Mushroom ID 5, Mushroom ID 6, Mushroom ID 8, Mushroom ID 9, Mushroom ID 10, & Mushroom Behavior, Mushroom Compatibility, Mushroom Selection, Mushroom Systems, Mushroom Feeding, Mushroom Health, Mushroom Disease 2, Mushroom Reproduction, Stinging-celled Animals,

Related Articles: Cnidarians, Water Flow, How Much is Enough,

/A Diversity of Aquatic Life

Coral Anemones, False Corals, Mushrooms: Order Corallimorpharia; part 1

To: part 2, part 3

By Bob Fenner

Two Amplexidiscus in captivity

Coral anemones, mushroom anemones or false corals are perhaps the most celebratedly hardy "corals"; often reproducing readily in well-kept systems. They have much to their merit besides, being relatively inexpensive and available in reds, blues, greens, purples and variegated patterns. Corallimorpharians require little specialized care as you will see.

Classification: Taxonomy, Problems, Relation With Other Groups

Coral anemones are closely related to the stony or true corals, indeed they are sometimes grouped as part of the same Order (Scleractinia) as a sub-order. One arrangement:

Phylum Cnidaria: Phylum Cnidaria: Stinging-celled animals. Anemones, corals, sea fans, jellyfishes, sea pens... Polyps and/or medusae stages

Class Anthozoa: Class Anthozoa: Polyp stage only, stomach divided in numerous compartments.

Sub-Class Zoantharia (Hexacorallia): More than eight and multiples of six tentacles.

Order Corallimorpharia: Coral anemones. Solitary or colonial, flattened mushroom-like anemones. Short, stubby tentacles radially arranged. Look like true corals, but lack skeletons. About ten families. Most common genera Actinodiscus, Ricordea, Corynactis, Rhodactis, Amplexidiscus. (the last two can eat unwary fishes... commonly clowns) Individual polyps 1 inch to 1 foot across.

Stippled, smooth, to fuzzy and striped, the most common Corallimorphs comprise the genus Discosoma/"Actinodiscus"

Corynactis, cold water only A Pacific Ricordea under culture Ricordea floridae

Potential and actual fish eaters, the larger Corallimorph genera Amplexidiscus (above and left) and Rhodactis

Commonly Encountered Corallimorphs:
Genus Amplexidiscus:

Amplexidiscus fenestrafer Dunn & Hamner 1980. The Elephant Ear. Indo-Pacific. To about eight inches in diameter in captivity, two feet in the wild. These ones photographed off Pulau Redang, Malaysia. Below, In N. Sulawesi (Lembeh Strait); a close-up with a Pliopontonia furtiva shrimp on it. Monotypic genus.

Bigger PIX:
The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.

Genus Corynactis:
Corynactis californica. A cool to coldwater Corallimorpharian found off Mexico and the U.S. California coasts.
Bigger PIX:
The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.

To: part 2, part 3

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: