Lebrunia coralligens is among the most common sea anemone species found inhabiting in coral reefs environments along the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. This species exhibit two distinct morphotypes characterized mainly by differences in the location of vesicles on its pseudotentacles. The morphology and cnidae size ranges between representatives of the two morphotypes, as well as with those from specimens of its congeners Lebrunia neglecta, were compared to identify taxonomic distinctions that would enable separation of the morphotypes into different species. Statistical variability in specimens and cnidae size ranges was found between the two morphotypes, but a greater variability was found when compared with cnidae size ranges of L. neglecta. These results suggest that pseudotentacular form and cnidae size differences are due to broad phenotypic plasticity within L. coralligens. In addition, results also suggest that quantitative comparisons of cnidae could reinforce the taxonomic distinction of closely related species as L. coralligens and L. neglecta.
Zoomorphology – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 9, 2017
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