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You are here: Home Volume VII October 2008 Feature Article: Coral Reproduction, Part Four: Non-Scleractinian Anthozoans Including Soft Corals, Zoanthids, and Anemones

Feature Article: Coral Reproduction, Part Four: Non-Scleractinian Anthozoans Including Soft Corals, Zoanthids, and Anemones

By Dana Riddle Posted Oct 14, 2008 08:00 PM Pomacanthus Publications, Inc.
This month, well examine what little we know of the sexual reproductive habits of soft corals, zoanthids, a few anemone species and others.

Soft corals reproduce asexually by a number of methods, including fragmentation, budding, fission and others, and hobbyists often exploit these in their coral propagation efforts (these methods were briefly reviewed at Part 2 of this series). See: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2008/8/aafeature1

image001.jpg

Figure 1. A soft coral (believed to be a Sansibia species) is reproducing within an aquarium. Photo courtesy of Michael Pollock.

It is usually quite easy to make cuttings from many soft corals, and one large broodstock colony can easily become hundreds of colonies in a relatively short period of time. This will make most soft corals unlikely candidates for sexual reproduction in aquaria. However, there are many reports of soft coral spawnings within aquaria. This article should be of interest to those interested in what it would take to grow out the spawn. Perhaps more importantly, the information presented here brings home the message that we actually know very little about soft coral reproduction. Your observation could be the first on record, so it is important to make notes and photographs.

Octocoral Reproduction

Kahng reported at the 11th ICRS that Lasker, Benayahu and he have sexual reproductive information on 155 octocoral species. Consider that there are about 100 octocorallia genera, and we quickly realize how limited research in this arena has been (and this should not be construed that the few soft coral taxonomists and researchers have done a poor job!). In addition, soft coral taxonomy seems to be in a state of constant rearrangement (bordering on chaos) making even recent references obsolete.

Soft Coral Identification Guides

The groupings listed below are from the latest source on octocorallia I have been able to locate Gary Williams Alphabetical List of Valid Octocoral Genera. This resource can be found on the internet at: http://research.calacademy.org/research/izg/OCTOGEN.htm. Photographs are available for some genera and it includes information from as late as 2007. A list of synonyms is also there.

Fabricius and Alderslades 2001 Soft Corals and Sea Fans (assists with identification to the genus level) is a good resource with many excellent photographs. It can be ordered at: http://www.aims.gov.au/docs/publications/bookshop.html

Good information is also found in Sprung and Delbeeks 1997 The Reef Aquarium, Volume Two. This volume is somewhat dated in its taxonomic groupings, but has excellent photographs of a number of invertebrates of interest to the marine aquarium hobbyist. This book is available through any well-stocked pet shop, or from any major internet retailer.

Of limited use, but still interesting, is Williams 1993 Coral Reef Octocorals - this work examines the soft corals of northern Natal.

Unfortunately, no guide to soft corals of the caliber of Verons Stony Coral ID exists. Perhaps this reflects the state of turmoil in soft coral taxonomy. Funding for research in this field is limited which perhaps explains the very limited number of younger soft coral taxonomists.

Hobbyists should be aware that soft coral identification sometimes requires microscopic examination of the calcium reinforcing rods (sclerites and spicules). Access to a microscope is of great advantage. Removing sclerites for examination is a bit of science and art. For an excellent free resource on soft coral examinations, visit this site: http://www.aquatouch.com/Research%20and%20Development.htm

Fabricius and Alderslades Soft Corals and Sea Fans (2001) also has good information on the details of examining soft corals in a laboratory, and many drawings of sclerites.

Anemone taxonomy used later in this article is based on Fautin and Allens 1992 Field Guide to Anemone Fishes and Their Host Sea Anemones. This is available for free online at: http://www.nhm.ku.edu/inverts/ebooks/intro.html

Glossary

Brooding
Where fertilized eggs are held internally (or sometimes on the surface of a parent colony) and are released as planula larvae.
Fecundity
Fertility; ability to produce abundantly.
Gonochoric
Possessing distinct male and female colonies where offspring are a result of fusion of gametes. Also referred to as dioecious, or unisexual. Gonochorism occurs in ~25% of coral species examined (Richmond, 1997).
Hermaphroditic
Possessing both male and female reproductive organs, sometimes referred to as monoecious. Self-fertilization (also called selfing) is an uncommon hermaphroditic trait among corals.
Oocyte
An immature egg (ovum).
Parthenogenesis
Development of a new individual from an unfertilized egg. This results in a female clone and is thought to occur in many invertebrates (including soft corals, gorgonians and possibly stony corals) and some vertebrates.
Planula larvae
The free-swimming, ciliated stage of coral larvae.
Polyspermy
Where more than one sperm fertilizes an ovum.
Protandrous hermaphrodite
Where male sex organs mature before those of the female.
Protogynous
(proto=first; gynous = female) - Where female sex organs mature before those of the male.
Sequential Hermaphrodite
Where one gender sex organ is produced during early life, and the second genders organs appear later.

Brooders (soft corals, hydrocorals and gorgonians):

  • Anthelia glauca (Kruger and Schleyer, 1998)
  • Clavularia koellikeri (Bastidas et al., 2002)
  • Heliopora corulea (Harii and Kayanne, 2005)
  • Heteroxenia fuscescens (Ben-David-Zaslow et al., 1999)
  • Litophyton arboreum (Benayahu et al., 1992)
  • Nephthea sp. (Benayahu, 1997)
  • Paralemnalia thyrsoides (Benayahu, 1997)
  • Parerythropodium fulvum fulvum (surface brooder, Barki et al., 2000)
  • Stereonephthea cundabiluensis (Benayahu, 1997)
  • Xenia macrospiculata (Benayahu and Loya, 1985)

Suspected Parthenogenesis

Parthenogenesis (definition above) is known to occur in a few invertebrates and even some vertebrates. It is suspected to occur in these marine soft corals:

  • Alcyonium hibernicum, a temperate soft coral (Hartnoll, 1977)
  • Plexaura sp. (Brazeau & Lasker, 1989)

Gonochoric Brooding

Gonochoric brooding involves broadcast spawning by males and internal or external fertilization of oocytes. It is known to occur in these soft corals:

  • Anthelia glauca (Benayahu and Schleyer, 1998)
  • Capnella gaboensis external brooder (Farrant, 1986)

Octocorals - Soft Corals (Subclass Octocorallia)

Order Alcyonacea - Stolonifera Group

Family Clavulariidae

1. Genus Carijoa (Snowflake Coral): Adult Carijoa colonies are rarely more than 20 cm in height.

Table 1
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Carijoa riisei Gonochoric Broadcast

2. Genus Cervera (also known as Cornularia): Cervera species without sclerites may be Clavularia.

Table 2
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Cornularia komaii Brooder
Cornularia saganiensis Brooder

3. Genus Clavularia (Clove Polyps)

Table 3
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Clavularia crassa Brooder
Clavularia hamra Gonochoric Brooder (external)
Clavularia inflata Brooder (external)
Clavularia koellikeri Gonochoric Brooder (external)

4. Genus Cryptophyton: No information on sexual reproduction available.

5. Genus Paratelesto: No information on sexual reproduction available.

6. Genus Stereosoma: Only one species has been reported, but recent examination of the preserved specimen has tentatively placed it in Clavulariidae (Fabricius and Alderslade (2001). Williams does not recognize the genus in his updated internet database. No information on sexual reproduction is available.

7. Genus Telesto: No information on sexual reproduction available.

8. Genus Telestula: No information on sexual reproduction is available.

9. Genus Trachythela: No information on sexual reproduction available.

Family Coelogorgiidae

1. Genus Coelogorgia: No information is available on reproductive habits.

Family Tubiporidae

1. Genus Tubipora (Pipe Organ Coral)

image003.jpg

Figure 2. Tubipora musica is most well known for its red pipe organ skeleton and not its rather drab polyps. No information is available on reproductive habits. Photo by the author.

Order Alcyonacea - Alcyoniina Group

Family Alcyoniidae

1. Genus Alcyonium: See Genus Klyxum for specimens from the tropical Pacific.

2. Genus Anthomastus

Table 4
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Anthomastus ritteri Brooder

3. Genus Bellonella: No sexual reproduction information available.

4. Genus Cladiella (Finger Leather Coral)

Table 5
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Cladiella pachyclados Gonochoric Broadcast

5. Genus Dampia: Possibly a Sinularia species. No reproduction information available.

6. Genus Discophyton

Table 6
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Discophyton sp. Gonochoric Brooder
Alcyonium rudyi (now Discophyton rudyi) Gonochoric Brooder

7. Genus Eleutherobia: No sexual reproduction information available.

8. Genus Klyxum (Colt Corals)

Table 7
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Alcyonium aspiculatum Gonochoric Broadcast
Alcyonium digitatum Gonochoric Broadcast
Alcyonium hibernicum Parthenogenic?
Alcyonium molle Gonochoric Broadcast
Alcyonium pacificum Gonochoric
Alcyonium rudyi (now Discophyton rudyi) Gonochoric Brooder
Alcyonium siderium Hermaphroditic Brooder
Alcyonium species A Hermaphroditic Brooder

9. Genus Lampophyton: No information is available on the sexual reproduction of this genus, erected by Williams in 2000.

10. Genus Lobophytum (Devils Hand)

Table 8
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Lobophytum compactum Gonochoric Broadcast
Lobophytum crassum Gonochoric Broadcast
Lobophytum depressum Gonochoric Broadcast
Lobophytum hirsutum Gonochoric Broadcast
Lobophytum microlobulatum Gonochoric Broadcast
Lobophytum pauciflorum Gonochoric Broadcast
Lobophytum planum Gonochoric Broadcast
Lobophytum sarcophytoides Gonochoric Broadcast

11. Genus Paraminabea: Paraminabea is also called Minabea (for shallow water specimens only). No reproduction information available.

12. Genus Rhytisma: Rhytisma is sometimes referred to as Parerythropodium.

Table 9
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Rhytisma fulvum fulvum ? Brooder
Parerythropodium fulvum fulvum Gonochoric Brooder (external)

13. Genus Sarcophyton (Leather Coral)

Table 10
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Sarcophyton crassocaule Gonochoric Broadcast
Sarcophyton ehrenbergi Gonochoric Broadcast
Sarcophyton glaucum Gonochoric Broadcast
Sarcophyton glaucum Brooder
Sarcophyton sp. Broadcast
Sarcophyton trocheliophorum Gonochoric Broadcast
image006.jpg

Figure 3. In this instance, Sarcophyton glaucum was found in a male female ratio of 1 to 1.

14. Genus Sinularia (Soft Finger Coral)

image007.jpg

Figure 4. Sinularia species are seen in a bewildering array of shapes. They are known to be broadcast spawners. Photo by the author.

Table 11
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Sinularia conferta Gonochoric Broadcast
Sinularia cruciata Gonochoric Broadcast
Sinularia deformis Gonochoric Broadcast
Sinularia dura Gonochoric Broadcast
Sinularia exilis Hermaphroditic Broadcast
Sinularia flexibilis Gonochoric Broadcast
Sinularia gyrosa Gonochoric Broadcast
Sinularia humesi Gonochoric Broadcast
Sinularia leptoclados Gonochoric Broadcast
Sinularia lochmodes Gonochoric Broadcast
Sinularia mayi Gonochoric Broadcast
Sinularia nanolobata Hermaphroditic Broadcast
Sinularia polydactyla Gonochoric Broadcast
Sinularia rigida Gonochoric Broadcast
Sinularia scabra Hermaphroditic Broadcast

15. Genus Thrombophyton

Table 12
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Thrombophyton coronatum Brooder
Thrombophyton trachydermum Gonochoric

Family Nephtheidae

1. Genus Capnella (Kenya Tree Coral): The temperate water Australian Capnella gaboensis does not become sexually mature until it is 20 years of age (Farrant, 1987).

Table 13
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Capnella gaboensis Brooder (external)

2. Genus Dendronephthya

Table 14
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Dendronephthya gigantea Gonochoric Brooder
Dendronephthya hemprichi Gonochoric Broadcast
Dendronephthya sinaiensis Gonochoric Broadcast
Dendronephthya suensoni Gonochoric Broadcast (?)

3. Genus Lemnalia (Branch Coral): No information on sexual reproduction is available.

4. Genus Leptophyton: No information on sexual reproduction is available.

5. Genus Litophyton

Table 15
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Litophyton arboreum Gonochoric Brooder (internal)

6. Genus Nephthea: Some Nephthea specimens contain colored sclerites, and these may belong in genus Stereonephthea (Fabricius and Alderslade, 2001).

Table 16
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Nephthea sp. Gonochoric Brooder

7. Genus Pacifiphyton: No information on sexual reproduction is available.

8. Genus Paralemnalia (Finger Leather Coral)

Table 17
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Paralemnalia thyrsoides Gonochoric Brooder

9. Genus Scleronephthya

Table 18
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Scleronephthya gracillimum Broadcast

10. Genus Stereonephthya

Table 19
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Stereonephthya cundabiluensis Gonochoric Brooder

11. Genus Umbellulifera: No information is available on reproductive habits.

Family Nidallidae

1. Genus Agaricoides: No information on reproduction is available.

2. Genus Chironephthya: No reproduction information available.

3. Genus Nidalia: No reproduction information available.

4. Genus Nephthyigorgia: No reproduction information available.

5. Genus Pieterfaurea: No reproduction information available.

6. Genus Siphonogorgia: No reproduction information available.

Family Paralcyoniidae

1. Genus Studeriotes: No reproduction information available.

Family Xeniidae

1. Genus Anthelia

Table 20
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Anthelia edmondsoni See Sarcothelia edmondsoni
Anthelia fishelsoni Gonochoric ?
Anthelia glauca Gonochoric Brooder

2. Genus Cespitularia (Blue Xenia)

Table 21
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Cespitularia exigua Gonochoric ?

3. Genus Efflatounaria

Table 22
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Efflatounaria sp. Gonochoric Brooder (external)

3. Genus Funginus: No reproduction information available. Williams believes Funginus is possibly synonymous with Heteroxenia.

4. Genus Heteroxenia (Pulse Coral)

Table 23
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Heteroxenia coheni Hermaphroditic Brooder
Heteroxenia elizabethae Hermaphroditic Brooder
Heteroxenia elizabethae Gonochoric
Heteroxenia fuscenscens Hermaphroditic Brooder
Heteroxenia ghardaqensis Hermaphroditic Brooder
Heteroxenia sp. Gonochoric Brooder
image009.jpg

Figure 5. Oocytes (eggs) within the soft coral Heteroxenia. Histological photomicrograph courtesy of Michael P. Janes.

5. Genus Sansibia: Reproduction of a coral tentatively identified as a Sansibia species has been noted in an aquarium. There was successful recruitment and young colonies are present. It is believed by the author that Sansibia is a brooder, but this should be verified.

image011.jpg

Figure 6. Is Sansibia a brooder or slow extrusion broadcast spawner? Photo courtesy of Michael Pollock.

6. Genus Sarcothelia

Table 24
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Sarcothelia edmondsoni Gonochoric Brooder (external)
image013.jpg

Figure 7. Sarcothelia edmondsoni colonies, endemic to Hawaii, are often seen as blue mats in areas of high water motion. Photo by the author.

7. Genus Sympodium

Table 25
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Sympodium caeruleum Gonochoric Brooder

8. Genus Xenia (Pulse Coral)

image015.jpg

Figure 8. Xenia species are easily propagated by making cuttings, but they have been observed spawning in aquaria. Photo by the author.

Table 26
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Xenia biseriata Gonochoric Brooder
Xenia blumi Gonochoric Brooder
Xenia faruensis Gonochoric Brooder
Xenia garciae Gonochoric Brooder
Xenia grasshoffi Hermaphroditic ?
Xenia hicksoni Gonochoric Brooder
Xenia impulsatilla Gonochoric Brooder
Xenia kuekenthali Gonochoric ?
Xenia lillieae Gonochoric ?
Xenia macrospiculata Gonochoric Brooder
Xenia membranacea Gonochoric Brooder
Xenia novabrittanniae Hermaphroditic Brooder
Xenia obscuronata Gonochoric Brooder
Xenia sp. Gonochoric Brooder
Xenia umbellata Gonochoric Brooder

Order Alcyonacea - Scleraxonia Group

Family Acanthogorgiidae (Suborder Holaxonia)

1. Genus Acanthogorgia: No information on reproduction available

2. Genus Anthogorgia: No information on reproduction available

3. Genus Muricella: No information on reproduction available.

Family Anthothelidae

1. Genus Altertigorgia: No reproduction information available.

2. Genus Erythropodium (Encrusting Gorgonian): No reproduction information available.

3. Genus Iciligorgia: No reproduction information available.

4. Genus Solenocaulon: No reproduction information available.

Family Briareidae

1. Genus Briareum (Incorporates Pachyclavularia & Solenopodium. Star Polyps)

image017.jpg

Figure 9. A Briareum spawns in an aquarium. Photo courtesy of Michael P. Janes.

Table 27. Reproductive habits of Corky Sea Fingers (Briareum asbestinum).
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Briareum asbestinum Broadcast
Briareum asbestinum Brooder
image020.jpg

Figure 10. Briareum asbestinum, often called Corky Sea Fingers, is a Caribbean species, and sex ratios are skewed towards male colonies.

Family Chrysogorgiidae (Suborder Calcaxonia)

1. Genus Stephanogorgia: No information on reproduction available.

Family Corallidae

1. Genus Corallium

Table 28
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Corallium rubrum Brooder

Family Ellisellidae (Suborder Calcaxonia)

1. Genus Ctenocella (Sea Whip or Harp Coral): No information on reproduction available.

2. Genus Dichotella: No information on reproduction available.

3. Genus Ellisella: No information on reproduction available.

4. Genus Heliania: No information on reproduction available.

5. Genus Junceella: No information on Junceellas sexual reproduction is available.

image021.jpg

Figure 11. Junceella colonies. Photo courtesy of Michael P. Janes.

image023.jpg

Figure 12. Junceella colonies often reproduce by fragmentation, as is shown in this photograph by Michael P. Janes.

6. Genus Nicella: No information on reproduction available.

7. Genus Verrucella (also known as Umbracella): No information on reproduction available.

8. Genus Viminella: No information on reproduction available.

Family Gorgoniidae (Suborder Holaxonia)

1. Genus Eunicella

Table 29
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Eunicella singularis Gonochoric Brooder
Eunicella stricta Brooder

2. Genus Gorgonia (Sea Fan): No information on reproduction available.

3. Genus Guaiagorgia: No information on reproduction available.

4. Genus Hicksonella: No information on reproduction available.

5. Genus Pinnigorgia (also known as Plexaura flava & Lophogorgia): No information on reproduction available.

6. Genus Pseudopterogorgia (Purple Frilly Gorgonian): This genus is found in the Pacific, but is one of the most common genera in the Caribbean/West Indies.

Table 30
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Pseudopterogorgia bipinnata Broadcast

7. Genus Pterogorgia (Sea Blade or Sea Whip): No information on reproduction available.

8. Genus Rumphella (Sea Whip): No information on reproduction available.

Family Ifalukellidae (Suborder Calcaxonia)

1. Genus Ifalukella: No information on reproduction available.

2. Genus Plumigorgia: No information on reproduction available.

Family Isididae (Suborder Calcaxonia):

1. Genus Isis (Sea Fan): No information on reproduction available.

2. Genus Jasminisi: No information on reproduction available.

3. Genus Pteronisis: No information on reproduction available.

4. Genus Zignisis: No information on reproduction available.

Family Keroeididae (Suborder Holaxonia)

1. Genus Keroeides: No information on reproduction available.

Family Melithaeidae

1. Genus Acabaria

Table 31
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Acabaria erythraea Hermaphroditic Brooder
Acabaria biserialis Gonochoric Brooder

2. Genus Clatharia: See Acabaria

3. Genus Melithaea: See Acabaria

4. Genus Mopsella: See Acabaria

5. Genus Wrightella: See Acabaria

Family Parisididae

1. Genus Parisis: No information on reproduction available.

Family Plexauridae (Suborder Holaxonia)

1. Genus Astrogorgia (also known as Muricella & Anthoplexaura): No information on reproduction available.

2. Genus Bebryce: No information on reproduction available.

3. Genus Echinogorgia: No information on reproduction available.

4. Genus Echinomuricea: No information on reproduction available.

5. Genus Eunicea (Knobby Candelabrum): No information on reproduction available.

6. Genus Euplexaura: No information on reproduction available.

7. Genus Menella (also known as Echinogorgia & Plexauroides): No information on reproduction available.

8. Genus Muricea (Spiny Sea Fan)

Table 32
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Muricea californica Brooder
Muricea fruticosa Brooder

9. Genus Muriceopsis (Sea Plume)

Table 33
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Muriceopsis flavida Broadcast

10. Genus Paracis: No information on reproduction available.

11. Genus Paramuricea

Table 34
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Paramuricea clavata Gonochoric Brooder (external)

12. Genus Paraplexaura: No information on reproduction available.

13. Genus Plexaura (Sea Rod)

Table 35
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Plexaura homomalla Broadcast
Plexaura kuna Gonochoric Broadcast
Plexaura sp. 'A' Parthenogenic?

14. Genus Plexaurella: No information on reproduction available.

15. Genus Pseudoplexaura

Table 36
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Pseudoplexaura porosa Gonochoric Broadcast
Pseudoplexaura sp. Gonochoric Broadcast
image026.jpg

Figure 13. Pseudoplexaura porosa specimens demonstrated a male/female ratio of 1:1 (Lasker et al., 1996).

16. Genus Trimuricea: No information on reproduction available.

17. Genus Villogorgia: No information on reproduction available.

Family Primnoidae (Suborder Calcaxonia)

1. Genus Plumarella: No information on reproduction available.

Family Subergorgiidae

1. Genus Annella: No reproduction information available.

2. Genus Subergorgia: No reproduction information available.

Order Anthoathecatae (Fire Corals)

Family Milleporidae

1. Genus Millepora (Common Fire Corals)

Table 37
Taxon Sexuality Reprodution
Millepora dichotoma Gonochoric
Millepora murrayi Gonochoric
Millepora platyophylla Gonochoric

Order Helioporacea

Family Helioporidae

1. Genus Heliopora (Blue Fire Corals)

Table 38
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Heliopora coerulea Brooder

Subclass Hexacorallia: Including Order Actiniaria (Sea Anemones), Order Zoanthiniaria (Zoanthids)

1. Zoanthids

image027.jpg

Figure 14. An unidentified Hawaiian zoanthid. Photo by the author.

Order Zoanthiniaria

Family Zoanthidae

1. Genus Parazoanthus (Yellow Polyps)

image029.jpg

Figure 15. Yellow Polyps (Parazoanthus species) offer a nice yellow color to an aquarium. Photo by the author.

Table 39
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Parazoanthus anguicomus Gonochoric
Parazoanthus axinellae Gonochoric
Parazoanthus parasiticus Gonochoric Broadcast

2. Genus Sphenopus

Table 40
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Sphenopus marsupialis (zoanthid) Gonochoric Broadcast?
Sphenopus marsupialis (zoanthid) Gonochoric Broadcast?

3. Genus Epizoanthus

Table 41
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Epizoanthus abyssorum Hermaphroditic Broadcast
Epizoanthus couchii Gonochoric
Epizoanthus paguriphilus Hermaphroditic Broadcast

4. Genus Protopalythoa (Button Polyps)

Table 42
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Protopalythoa sp. Broadcast
Protopalythoa variabilis Hermaphroditic Broadcast

5.Genus Zoanthus (Zoanthids)

Table 43
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Zoanthid sp. Broadcast
Zoanthus pacificus Hermaphroditic Broadcast
Zoanthus pulchellus Hermaphroditic Broadcast
Zoanthus sansibaricus Hermaphroditic Broadcast
Zoanthus sociatus Hermaphroditic Broadcast
Zoanthus solanderi Hermaphroditic Broadcast

5. Genus Palythoa (Sea Mat)

Table 44
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Palythoa caribaeorum Hermaphroditic Broadcast
Palythoa tuberculosa Hermaphroditic Broadcast

6. Genus Isozoanthus

Table 45
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Isozoanthus gigantea Brooder

7. Genus Isaurus (Snake Polyps)

Table 46
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Isaurus sp. Hermaphroditic
Isaurus sp. Gonochoric

Sea Anemones

Family Actiniidae

1. Genus Anthopleura

Table 47
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Anthopleura dixoniana (anemone) Gonochoric Broadcast
Anthopleura elegantissima (anemone) Gonochoric Broadcast

2. Genus Condylactis

Table 48
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Condylactis gigantea Gonochoric Broadcast

3. Genus Entacmaea

Table 49
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Entacmaea quadricolor (anemone) Gonochoric Broadcast

4. Genus Epiactis

Table 50
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Epiactis prolifera (anemone) Brooder
Epiactis prolifera (anemone) Gynodioecy

5. Genus Phymanthus

Table 51
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Phymanthus crucifer (anemone) Gonochoric Broadcast

6. Genus Urticina

Table 52
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Urticina lofotenis Gonochoric Broadcast

Family Aurelianidae

1. Genus Actinoporus

Table 53
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Actinoporus elongatus Gonochoric Broadcast

Family Sagartiidae

1. Genus Sagartia

Table 54
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Sagartia troglodytes Gonochoric Broadcast

Family Stichodactylidae

1. Genus Heteractis

Table 55
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Heteractis crispa Gonochoric Broadcast

2. Genus Entacmaea

Table 56
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Entacmaea quadricolor (anemone) Gonochoric Broadcast

Order Corallimorpharia

Family Actinodiscidae

1. Genus Discosoma (Mushroom Anemone)

Table 57
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Discosoma sp. Broadcast

Family Discosomatidae

1. Genus Rhodactis (Elephant Ear Mushroom Coral)

Table 58
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Rhodactis indosinensis Broadcast
Rhodactis rhodostoma Gonochoric Broadcast

Subclass Ceriantipatharia: Including Order Anthipatharia (Black or Wire Corals)

Family Antipathidae

1. Genus Antipathes: It has been estimated that there are 23 Antipathes species. Overall, we know very little about their reproductive habits.

Table 59
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction
Antipathes fiordensis Gonochoric Broadcast
image032.jpg

Figure 16. Sex ratio of the black coral Antipathes (Parker et al., 1997).

Size and Age of Antipathes fiordensis at Sexual Maturity

Antipathes fiordensis is sexually mature at an age of 31 years (with a corresponding height of approximately 70-105 cm). As Figure 16 shows, it is found in a male/female ratio of 1 to 1 (Parker et al., 1997).

Quick and Easy Reference Table

Table 60. Quick and Easy Reference
Taxon Sexuality Reproduction Vertical (egg) Horizontal water 85% Reference
Acabaria erythraea Hermaphroditic Brooder Fine et al., 2005
Acabaria biserialis Gonochoric Brooder Zeevi-Ben Yosef & Benayahu, 1999
Actinodiscus sp. Broadcast ASIRA Data base
Actinoporus elongatus Gonochoric Broadcast Clayton & Collins, 1992 in Lin et al., 2001
Alcyonium aspiculatum Gonochoric Broadcast Alino & Coll, 1989
Alcyonium digitatum Gonochoric Broadcast McFadden et al., 2001
Alcyonium hibernicum Parthenogenic ? Hartnoll, 1977
Alcyonium molle Gonochoric Broadcast Alino & Coll, 1989
Alcyonium pacificum Gonochoric McFadden & Hochberg, 2003
Alcyonium rudyi (now Discophyton rudyi) Gonochoric Brooder McFadden, 1997
Alcyonium siderium Hermaphroditic Brooder Sebens, 1983; McFadden et al., 2001
Alcyonium species A Hermaphroditic Brooder McFadden et al., 2001
Amplexidiscus sp. Broadcast X ASIRA Data base
Anthelia edmondsoni See Sarcothelia edmondsoni
Anthelia fishelsoni Gonochoric ? Benayahu, 1991
Anthelia glauca Gonochoric Brooder Benayahu & Schleyer, 1998
Anthomastus ritteri Brooder Cordes, 2001
Anthopleura dixoniana (anemone) Gonochoric Broadcast Linn et al., 1992
Anthopleura elegantissima (anemone) Gonochoric Broadcast Jennison, 1979 in Lin et al., 2001
Antipathes fiordensis Gonochoric Broadcast Parker et al.,
Briareum asbestinum Broadcast Lasker et al., 1996; Lasker & Stewart, 1992
Briareum asbestinum Brooder Brazeau & Lasker, 1989
Capnella gaboensis Brooder (external) Farrant, 1986
Carijoa riisei Gonochoric Broadcast Kahng et al., 2008
Cespitularia exigua Gonochoric ? Benayahu, 1991
Cladiella pachyclados Gonochoric Broadcast Shinkarenko, 1981
Clavularia crassa Brooder Kowalewsky & Marion, 1883, in Benayahu & Loya, 1983
Clavularia hamra Gonochoric Brooder (external) Benayahu, 1989
Clavularia inflata Brooder (external) Bermas et al., 1992
Clavularia koellikeri Gonochoric Brooder (external) Bastidas et al., 2002
Condylactis gigantea Gonochoric Broadcast Jennison, 1981, in Lin et al., 2001
Corallium rubrum Brooder Vighi, 1970
Cornularia komaii Brooder Suzuki, 1971
Cornularia saganiensis Brooder Babcock et al., 1986
Dendronephthya gigantea Gonochoric Brooder Hwang & Song, 2007
Dendronephthya hemprichi Gonochoric Broadcast Dahan & Benayahu, in Benayahu, 1997
Dendronephthya sinaiensis Gonochoric Broadcast Barki, 1992
Dendronephthya suensoni Gonochoric Broadcast (?) Choi & Song, 2007
Discophyton sp. Gonochoric Brooder McFadden & Hochberg, 2003
Efflatournaria sp. Gonochoric Brooder (external) Bermas et al., 1992; Dinesen, 1985
Eleutherobia aurea ? Broadcast Ketzinal, 1997, in Schleyer & Celliers, 2003
Entacmaea quadricolor (anemone) Gonochoric Broadcast Scott & Harrison, 2005
Epiactis prolifera (anemone) Brooder Chia, 1976
Epiactis prolifera (anemone) Gynodioecy Harrison, 1988
Epizoanthus abyssorum Hermaphroditic Broadcast Muirhead et al., 1986
Epizoanthus couchii Gonochoric Ryland, 2000
Epizoanthus paguriphilus Hermaphroditic Broadcast Muirhead et al., 1986
Eunicella singularis Gonochoric Brooder Weinberg & Weinberg, 1979; Gori et al., 2007
Eunicella stricta Brooder Theodor, 1967
Heteractis crispa Gonochoric Broadcast Scott & Harrison, 2005
Heteractis magnifica (anemone) Asexual fission Holbrook& Schmitt, 2005
Heteroxenia coheni Hermaphroditic Brooder Benayahu, 1991
Heteroxenia elizabethae Hermaphroditic Brooder Gohar, 1940
Heteroxenia elizabethae Gonochoric Hwang & Song, 2007
Heteroxenia fuscenscens Hermaphroditic Brooder Gohar, 1940
Heteroxenia ghardaqensis Hermaphroditic Brooder Gohar, 1940
Heteroxenia sp. Gonochoric Brooder Benayahu et al., 1988
Isozoanthus gigantea Brooder Calgren, 1923, in Ryland et al., 2000
Kadosactis troglodytes See Sagartia troglodytes
Litophyton arboreum Gonochoric Brooder (internal) Benayahu, 1997
Lobophytum compactum Gonochoric Broadcast Michalek-Wagner, 2001
Lobophytum crassum Gonochoric Broadcast Coll & Kelman, 1997
Lobophytum depressum Gonochoric Broadcast Schleyer et al., in Benayahu, 1997
Lobophytum hirsutum Gonochoric Broadcast Alino & Coll, 1989
Lobophytum microlobulatum Gonochoric Broadcast Alino & Coll, 1989
Lobophytum pauciflorum Gonochoric Broadcast Alino & Coll, 1989
Lobophytum planum Gonochoric Broadcast Alino & Coll, 1989
Lobophytum sarcophytoides Gonochoric Broadcast Dai, 1989
Millepora dichotoma Gonochoric Soong & Cho, 1998
Millepora murrayi Gonochoric Soong & Cho, 1998
Millepora platyophylla Gonochoric Soong & Cho, 1998
Muricea californica Brooder Grigg, 1977
Muricea fruticosa Brooder Grigg, 1977
Muriceopsis flavida Broadcast
Nephthea sp. Gonochoric Brooder Benayahu, 1997
Pachyclavularia violacea Broadcast ASIRA Data base
Palythoa caribaeorum Hermaphroditic Broadcast Boscolo & Silveira, 2005
Palythoa tuberculosa Hermaphroditic Broadcast Kimura et al., 1972
Paralemnalia thyrsoides Gonochoric Brooder Benayahu, 1997
Paramuricea clavata Gonochoric Brooder (external) Linares et al., 2008
Parazoanthus anguicomus Gonochoric Ryland, 2000
Parazoanthus axinellae Gonochoric Ryland, 2000
Parazoanthus parasiticus Gonochoric Broadcast Ryland & Westphalen, 2005
Parerythropodium fulvum fulvum Gonochoric Brooder (external) Benayahu & Loya, 1983
Phymanthus crucifer (anemone) Gonochoric Broadcast Jennison, 1979, in Lin et al., 2001
Plexaura homomalla Broadcast Martin, 1982
Plexaura kuna Gonochoric Broadcast Swain et al., 1997
Plexaura sp. 'A' Parthenogenic? Brazeau and Lasker, 1989
Protopalythoa sp. Broadcast ASIRA Data base
Protopalythoa variabilis Hermaphroditic Broadcast Boscolo & Silveira, 2005
Pseudoplexaura porosa Gonochoric Broadcast Lasker et al., 1996
Pseudoplexaura sp. Gonochoric Broadcast Lasker et al., 1996
Pseudopterogorgia bipinnata Broadcast Kinzie, 1970
Rhodactis indosinensis Broadcast X ASIRA Data base
Rhodactis rhodostoma Gonochoric Broadcast Chadwick-Furman et al., 2000
Rhytisma fulvum fulvum ? Brooder Benayahu & Loya, 1983
Sagartia troglodytes Gonochoric Broadcast Shaw, 1989, in Lin etal., 2001
Sarcophyton crassocaule Gonochoric Broadcast n/a n/a Dai, 1989
Sarcophyton ehrenbergi Gonochoric Broadcast Alino & Coll, 1989
Sarcophyton glaucum Gonochoric Broadcast Schleyer & Celliers, 2003
Sarcophyton glaucum Brooder Schleyer et al., 2004
Sarcophyton sp. Broadcast ASIRA Data base
Sarcophyton trocheliophorum Gonochoric Broadcast Shinkarenko, 1981
Scleronephthya gracillimum Broadcast Choi & Song, 2007
Sarcothelia edmondsoni Gonochoric Brooder (external) Davis, 1976
Sinularia conferta Gonochoric Broadcast Alino & Coll, 1989
Sinularia cruciata Gonochoric Broadcast Alino & Coll, 1989
Sinularia deformis Gonochoric Broadcast Alino & Coll, 1989
Sinularia dura Gonochoric Broadcast Schleyer et al., in Benayahu, 1997
Sinularia exilis Hermaphroditic Broadcast Dai & Wu, 1995
Sinularia flexibilis Gonochoric Broadcast Michalek-Wagner, 2001
Sinularia gyrosa Gonochoric Broadcast Schleyer et al., in Benayahu, 1997
Sinularia humesi Gonochoric Broadcast Benayahu et al., 1990
Sinularia leptoclados Gonochoric Broadcast Benayahu et al., 1990
Sinularia lochmodes Gonochoric Broadcast X Alino & Coll, 1989
Sinularia mayi Gonochoric Broadcast Benayahu et al., 1990
Sinularia nanolobata Hermaphroditic Broadcast Dai & Wu, 1995
Sinularia polydactyla Gonochoric Broadcast Slattery et al., 1999
Sinularia rigida Gonochoric Broadcast Alino & Coll, 1989
Sinularia scabra Hermaphroditic Broadcast X Dai & Wu, 1995
Sphenopus marsupialis (zoanthid) Gonochoric Broadcast ? Soong et al., 1999
Sphenopus marsupialis (zoanthid) Gonochoric Broadcast ? Soong et al., 1999
Stereonephthya cundabiluensis Gonochoric Brooder Benayahu, 1997
Sympodium caeruleum Gonochoric Brooder Benayahu, 1991
Thrombophyton coronatum Brooder McFadden & Hochberg, 2002
Thrombophyton trachydermum Gonochoric McFadden & Hochberg, 2003
Urticina lofotenis Gonochoric Broadcast Jennison, 1979, in Lin et al., 2000
Xenia biseriata Gonochoric Brooder Benayahu, 1991
Xenia blumi Gonochoric Brooder Gohar, 1940
Xenia faruensis Gonochoric Brooder Benayahu, 1991
Xenia garciae Gonochoric Brooder Benayahu, 1991
Xenia grasshoffi Hermaphroditic ? X Benayahu, 1991
Xenia hicksoni Gonochoric Brooder X Gohar, 1940
Xenia impulsatilla Gonochoric Brooder Benayahu, 1991
Xenia kuekenthali Gonochoric ? Benayahu, 1991
Xenia lillieae Gonochoric ? Benayahu, 1991
Xenia macrospiculata Gonochoric Brooder Benayahu & Loya, 1984; Benayahu, 1997
Xenia membranacea Gonochoric Brooder Benayahu, 1991
Xenia novabrittanniae Hermaphroditic Brooder Benayahu, 1991
Xenia obscuronata Gonochoric Brooder Benayahu, 1991
Xenia sp. Gonochoric Brooder Benayahu, 1991
Xenia umbellata Gonochoric Brooder Benayahu, 1991
Xestospongia muta Gonochoric Broadcast Becerro, 2005
Zoanthid sp. Broadcast ASIRA Data base
Zoanthus pacificus Hermaphroditic Broadcast Cooke, 1976
Zoanthus pulchellus Hermaphroditic Broadcast Karlson, 1981
Zoanthus sansibaricus Hermaphroditic Broadcast Ono et al., 2005
Zoanthus sociatus Hermaphroditic Broadcast Karlson, 1981
Zoanthus solanderi Hermaphroditic Broadcast Fadlallah, 1984

This concludes our observations of sexuality and reproductive habits among corals. Next time, well examine one of the most important environmental parameters in coral reproduction that of lighting. I have chosen to present the reference list at the end of this series. For those wishing an early copy, please email me at RiddleLabs@aol.com and Ill send the complete reference list as a Word document.

Acknowledgements

I wish to thank Michael P. Janes for his generosity in sharing photographs and helpful comments. He often pointed me in the proper direction, especially with comments on classifications. However, any mistakes within the article are mine and mine alone. Also, aquarist Michael Pollock kindly shared the extraordinary introductory photo.

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