Order Ceriantharia Sand Anemones Or Cerianthids

As the common name suggests, these animals occur within soft sediments with only the extended tentacles and a little of the long, soft column visible (Fig. 19.8K). The mouth is usually hidden by a crown of short tentacles and this is surrounded by much longer tentacles that may extend in the direction of water flow. The individual produces and occupies a flexible tube that may be up to a metre long. They are identified by dissection and identification of internal features.

Cerianthids occur from the intertidal to the deep sea, and they are quite frequently encountered on reef lagoons and the off-reef sea floor. Most feed at night, retracting (at least partially) into their tubes by day. Associates from a number of phyla, including lopho-phorates, may occur in the tube.

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