Inventories of the sea anemones of the world (of which nearly
1000 valid species have been described) have been published about every
50 years. Each has included species described since the previous one and
has provided successively more modern assessments of phylogenetic relationships,
but has also introduced new errors, and has been dated almost as soon as
it was printed. With support of the National Science Foundation's PEET
program (Partnership [sic] for Enhancing Expertise in Taxonomy), we have
gathered nomenclatural data on all nominal species of sea anemones into
a database in Visual FoxPro. Corrections and updates can continually be
entered, ending the cycle of print catalogs. This currently is the definitive
source for accurate bibliographic and nomenclatural information, and for
documentation of type specimens. A taxonomic history of each species is
A combination of morphological and molecular analysis will be employed to establish whether two putative new species of sea anemones in the genus *Urticina* are new species or are local variants of described species. Characters traditionally used in anemone taxonomy at the species level are symmetry of mesenteries, distribution of fertile mesenteries, number and arrangement of tentacles, nature and shape of the various muscles, and types, size and distribution of cnidae. Morphological characters of each of the two putative new species of anemones will be determined and compared with a species of *Urticina* that it resembles externally. In addition to the morphological data, I will sequence a 710 bp-fragment [sic] of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene from all putative and described species used in the morphological study. Sequence data are just beginning to be used in anemone systematics; this study will be the first to provide sequence data for anemones in the genus *Urticina*.
Copyright © 1996 by the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology.