n African Zoology - Species richness, endemicity and distribution patterns of South African sea anemones (Cnidaria : Actiniaria & Corallimorpharia)

Volume 39, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X
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A revised and updated list of South African sea anemones is compiled and the distribution pattern and endemicity of each determined from museum and literature records. Forty-nine valid species are recognized. Species richness appears fairly uniform around the coast, although marked peaks occur at Cape Town, False Bay and Durban - almost certainly the result of disproportionately intense sampling effort at these locations. Forty-nine per cent of species are endemic, slightly above the average for the South African marine fauna (31%), but well within the range shown by component taxa. Endemics are absent in the northwest, but otherwise comprise a fairly consistent proportion of species in each region. The fact that existing records are strongly biased towards a few centres of high sampling activity, indicates a pressing need for additional systematic collection of this group in under-represented areas.

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