class of cnidarians

Anthozoa are a class in the phylum Cnidaria. It includes the sea anemones and the corals. It is a monophyletic clade, one of two in the Cnidaria. The other is the Medusozoa.[1]

Temporal range:
late Ediacaran to present
Scheibenanemonen (Actinodiscus spec).jpg
Stony corals
Scientific classification
A stony coral in its natural habitat
Giant green anemone, Southern California

The class does not have a medusa larval stage in its development, unlike the rest of the phylum. Like all Cnidaria, their food-catching and defense are done by nematocysts, which are extremely effective stinging cells. Over 6,100 species have been described.[2][3]

There are three subclasses:


  1. 1.0 1.1 Daly M. et al 2007. The phylum Cnidaria: a review of phylogenetic patterns and diversity 300 years after Linnaeus. Zootaxa, 1668: 127–182, Wellington. Abstract - PDF
  2. Crowther A.L. (2011). Z.-Q. Zhang (ed.). "Animal biodiversity: an outline of higher-level classification and survey of taxonomic richness" (PDF). Zootaxa. 3148: 19–23. |chapter= ignored (help)
  3. estimates of species numbers differ between authorities.