Arctic Actiniaria
West Spitsbergen sea anemones – prepared by Piotr Bałazy, IO PAN

Sea anemones are a conspicuous group of cnidarians found worldwide. They lack a calcareous skeleton and a free-living medusa stage in their life cycle, therefore, they are soft-bodied polyps. Most of them attaches to the hard substrate or is buried in sediment although few species are also known to have a pelagic mode of life. In the Arctic system they can play an important role as they are very abundant especially in the shallow subtidal.

This web site was created at the start of a research project aiming to describe sea anemones from West Spitsbergen fjords. The gallery includes pictures of all species found in Isfjorden during IO PAN expedition in 2012. Hopefully it will be expanded in the near future as a result of new sampling campaigns. Most of these species have been preserved and are in possession of IO PAN.

The species identity was verified by Nadya Sanamyan who is gratefully acknowledged. The valid names of species were given according to actiniaria.com and WORMS.

Further thanks are due to Agnieszka Kostrzyńska, Michał Saniewski and Tomasz Borszcz.

The pictures have been taken by Piotr Kukliński and Piotr Bałazy who is also the contact person in case of any comments.

Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Subclass: Hexacorallia
Superorder: Hexactiniida
Order: Actiniaria
Suborder: Nynantheae

Family: Actiniidae
Genus: Cribrinopsis
Genus: Urticina
Genus: Aulactinia
Family: Hormathiidae
Genus: Hormathia
Family: Halcampidae
Genus: Halcampa
Subclass: Ceriantharia
Order: Spirularia
Family: Cerianthidae
Genus: Cerianthus


design and code: Stanisław Węsławski, last updated on February 6th, 2013