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Zoomorphology

, Volume 136, Issue 3, pp 287–297 | Cite as

Morphological variability of the “Caribbean hidden anemone” Lebrunia coralligens (Wilson, 1890)

  • Ricardo González-MuñozEmail author
  • Agustín Garese
  • José Luis Tello-Musi
  • Fabián H. Acuña
Original paper

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Actiniaria Intraspecific variation Cnidocysts Morphotypes Coral reefs 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The first author is grateful to the Programa de Becas Postdoctorales of the Comisión Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACyT, Grant 232318). All specimens were collected under consent of Mexican law, collecting permit approved by Comisión Nacional de Acuacultura y Pesca (Number 07332.250810.4060). We thank the Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas (CONANP) and the staff at the Parque Nacional Arrecifes de Puerto Morelos and the Sistema Arrecifal Veracruzano for their helpful assistance during field work. Dr. Horacio Pérez-España (Instituto de Ciencias Marinas y Pesquerías de la Universidad Veracruzana), and Dr. Nuno Simões Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Sisal (UNAM-Sisal) provided support for field work; M.S. Maribel Badillo-Alemán (UNAM-Sisal) provided access and support to histological facilities; M.S. Gemma Martínez-Moreno and Dr. Patricia Guadarrama-Chávez (UNAM-Sisal) helped with lab work and provided support in the microscopy lab; M.S. Alfredo Gallardo-Torres (UNAM-Sisal), B.S. Alejandro Córdova (UNAM-FES-I) helped in the field; and Carlos Hernández (Universidad de Oriente, Venezuela) for its valuable comments. Comments of two anonymous referees improved this manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ricardo González-Muñoz
    • 1
    Email author
  • Agustín Garese
    • 1
  • José Luis Tello-Musi
    • 2
  • Fabián H. Acuña
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratorio de Biología de Cnidarios, Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y NaturalesUniversidad Nacional de Mar del Plata-CONICETMar del PlataArgentina
  2. 2.Laboratorio de Zoología, Facultad de Estudios Superiores Iztacala (FES-I), UNAMEstado de MéxicoMéxico

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