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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Phylum: Cnidaria
Classis: Hydrozoa
Subclassis: Hydroidolina
Ordo: Anthoathecata
Subordines: AplanulataCapitataFilifera

Familia (incertae sedis): †Heterastridiidae

Genera (incertae sedis): Bibrachium – Propachycordyle – Protulophila – Saccohydra

Anthoathecata Cornelius, 1992



Cornelius, P.F.S., 1992. Medusa loss in leptolid Hydrozoan (Cnidaria) hydroid rafting, and abbreviated life-cycles among their remote-island faunae: an interim review. In: J. Bouillon, F. Boero, F. Cicogna, J.M. Gili & R.G. Hughes, eds., Aspects of hydrozoan biology. Scientia Marina 56 (2-3), pp. 245-261.
Lin, M., Xu, Z.-Z., Huang, J.-Q., Nurul, F., Guo, D.-H., Wang, C.-G. & Chen, B. 2013. Two new species of Anthomedusae from the Bitung Strait, Indonesia (Cnidaria). Acta zootaxonomica sinica 38(2): 246–250. Abstract Reference page.
Peña Cantero, A.L.; Vervoort, W.; Watson, E.J. 2003: On Clathrozoellidae (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa, Anthoathecatae), a new family of rare deep-water leptolids, with the description of three new species. Zoologische Verhandelingen, 345: 281–296.

Anthoathecata, or the athecate hydroids, are an order of hydrozoans belonging to the phylum Cnidaria. A profusion of alternate scientific names exists for this long-known, heavily discussed, and spectacular group. It has also been called Gymnoblastea and (with or without an emended ending -ae), Anthomedusa, Athecata, Hydromedusa, and Stylasterina. There are about 1,200 species worldwide.[1]

These hydrozoans always have a polyp stage. Their hydranths grow either solitary or in colonies. There is no firm perisarc around the polyp body. The medusae, or jellyfish, are solitary animals, with tentacles arising from the bell margin, lacking statocysts but possessing radial canals. Their gonads are on the manubrium ("handle").[2]

Except in Eudendriidae and Laingiidae, prey can be captured by discharging harpoon-like structures (desmonemes) from chambers (cnidae) in specialized cells (nematocysts) on the tentacles. In hydrozoans, these are nearly always adhesive and entrapping, rather than puncturing and poisoned as in other jellys.[2]
It is not clear whether Stylaster californicus belongs in the Filifera.
Upper left: blue top snail (Calliostoma ligatum).

The close relationship of the orders Anthoathecata and Leptomedusae has been long known, but formerly it was also believed that these two were close to the order Limnomedusae. However, their closest relatives are the highly advanced Siphonophorae, whereas the Limnomedusae are a rather primitive group, and not very closely related to these three Leptolinae, and might instead belong to the subclass Trachylinae.

Some uncertainty existed regarding the taxonomy of the order Anthoathecata. The most simple scheme, used until recently by most authors since it was proposed in 1913, divided the order into a smaller suborder (Filifera) and a second larger one (Capitata), but several unusual Anthoathecatae did not fit into this arrangement, and a considerable number did so awkwardly. The Porpitidae, for example, are a highly aberrant group, and were at one time even considered a separate order "Chondrophora". However, they are currently considered to be derived from Zancleida. In the early 21st century, the well-known Hydra and its relatives – and most of the supposed filiferan infraorders Tubulariida and Moerisiida – were determined to be a very ancient lineage, recognized as suborder Aplanulata.[3] Although not all Anthoathecatae have been firmly placed in the phylogeny, most are fairly certainly assigned at least to one of the major subdivisions. As a notable exception, a prehistoric family, the Heterastridiidae, is still highly disputed regarding its relationships to the extant taxa, as are a small number of very aberrant and/or little-known species such as the aptly named Saccohydra problematica.

The family Clathrozoellidae is placed with the Filifera here; in others it is placed in the Leptomedusae and sometimes even synonymized with their family Clathrozoidae. By contrast, the supposed filiferan genus Anthohydra is in fact the leptomedusan Eugymnanthea; similarly, "Gammaria" is also a leptomedusan and properly spelled Grammaria.

The supposed athecate family Monobrachiidae is apparently a close relative of the Olindiasidae, and belongs in the Limnomedusae. Halammohydridae and Otohydridae, sometimes placed here, appear to be trachyline hydrozoans of the order Actinulidae.

Infraorders and families
Hydractinia epiconcha belongs to the Margelina in the suborder Filifera.
The well-known freshwater polyp Hydra viridissima, formerly placed in the Capitata, belongs to the Aplanulata.
Polyorchis karafutoensis, a true member of the Capitata, on a 1995 stamp from Azerbaijan.

Basal and incertae sedis Anthoathecata

Genus Bibrachium Stechow, 1919
Genus "Microstoma" Lesson, 1830 (nomen dubium; non G.Cuvier, 1816: preoccupied)
Genus Saccohydra Billiard, 1914
†Family Heterastridiidae (fossil)

Suborder Aplanulata Collins, Winkelman, Hadrys & Schierwater, 2005

Family Acaulidae Fraser, 1924 (formerly in Tubulariida)
Family Boeromedusidae Bouillon, 1995 (formerly in Moerisiida)
Family Boreohydridae Westblad, 1947 (formerly in Tubulariida)
Family Myriothelidae Hincks, 1868[verification needed] (including Candelabridae, Symplectaneidae; formerly in Tubulariida)
Family Corymorphidae Allman, 1872 (including Amalthaeidae, Branchiocerianthidae, Euphysidae, Hypolytidae , Monocaulidae, Paragotoeidae, Steenstrupiini, Trichorhizini; formerly in Tubulariida)
Family Hydridae Dana, 1846 (formerly in Moerisiida)
Family Margelopsidae Uchida, 1927 (including Pelagohydridae; formerly in Tubulariida)
Family Paracorynidae Picard, 1957 (formerly in Tubulariida)
Family Protohydridae Allman, 1888 (formerly in Moerisiida)
Family Tubulariidae

Suborder Filifera Kühn, 1913

Basal or incertae sedis

Genus Brinckmannia Schuchert & Reiswig, 2006
Genus Favonia Péron & Lesueur, 1810 (nomen dubium)
Genus Kinetocodium Kramp, 1921 (Margelina: Hydractiniidae?)
Genus Lymnorea Péron & Lesueur, 1810 (= Limnorea; nomen dubium)
Family Axoporidae Boschma, 1951 (fossil)
Family Bythotiaridae Maas, 1905 (including Calycopsidae; Pandeida?)
Family Clathrozoellidae Peña Cantero, Vervoort & Watson, 2003 (tentatively placed here)
Family Cordylophoridae von Lendenfeld, 1885
Family Jeanbouilloniidae Pagès, Flood & Youngbluth, 2006
Family Oceaniidae (Margelina?)
Family Tubiclavoididae Moura, Cunha & Schuchert, 2007 (Pandeida?)

Infraorder Margelina Haeckel, 1879 (disputed)

Family Australomedusidae Russell, 1971 (including Platystomidae)
Family Balellidae Stechow, 1922
Family Bougainvilliidae
Family Cytaeididae L.Agassiz, 1862
Family Eucodoniidae Schuchert, 1996
Family Hydractiniidae
Family Ptilocodiidae Coward, 1909
Family Rathkeidae Russell, 1953
Family Rhysiidae Hickson & Gravely, 1907; (tentatively placed here)
Family Stylasteridae (tentatively placed here)
Family Trichydridae Hincks, 1868

Infraorder Pandeida (disputed)

Family Eudendriidae
Family Magapiidae Schuchert & Bouillon, 2009 (formerly Laingiidae; tentatively placed here)
Family Niobiidae Petersen, 1979
Family Pandeidae
Family Proboscidactylidae Hand & Hendrickson, 1950
Family Protiaridae Haeckel, 1879
Family Heterotentaculidae Schuchert, 2010 (formerly Russelliidae; tentatively placed here)

Suborder Capitata Kühn, 1913 Basal or incertae sedis

Genus Cnidocodon Bouillon, 1978 (including Ramus)
Genus Ctenaria (Zancleida: Zancleidae?)
Genus Oonautes Damas, 1937 (Zancleida: Zancleidae?)
Genus Paulinum Brinckmann-Voss & Arai, 1998
Genus Plotocnide Wagner, 1885 (including Plankayon)
Genus Propachycordyle Thiel, 1931
Genus Pteronema Haeckel, 1879
Genus Rhabdoon Keferstein & Ehlers, 1861 (including Pararhysomedusa, Rhysomedusa, Yakovia)
Genus Tetraralphia Pagès & Bouillon, 1997

Infraorder Moerisiida Poche, 1914 (disputed)

Family Halimedusidae Arai & Brinckmann-Voss, 1980 (tentatively placed here)
Family Moerisiidae Poche, 1914

Infraorder Sphaerocorynida Petersen, 1990 (disputed)

Family Hydrocorynidae Rees, 1957
Family Sphaerocorynidae Prévot, 1959
Family Zancleopsidae Bouillon, 1978

Infraorder N.N.[5] (disputed)

Family Cladonematidae
Family Corynidae
Family Euphysidae
Family Pennariidae McCrady, 1859 (including Halocordylidae)
Family Solanderiidae
Family Tricyclusidae Kramp, 1949

Infraorder Zancleida Russell, 1953 (disputed)

Family Asyncorynidae Kramp, 1949
Family Cladocorynidae Allman, 1872
Family Milleporidae Fleming, 1828 (= Milleporadae)
Family Porpitidae
Family Pseudosolanderiidae Bouillon & Gravier-Bonnet, 1988
Family Rosalindidae Bouillon, 1985
Family Teissieridae Bouillon, 1978
Family Zancleidae Russell, 1953 (including Corynipteridae, Halocorynidae, Orthocorynidae)


Schuchert, P. (2014). Anthoathecata. Accessed through: Schuchert, P. (2014) World Hydrozoa database at on 2014-10-31
Bouillon, J.; Gravili, C.; Pagès, F.; Gili, J.-M.; Boero, F. (2006). An introduction to Hydrozoa. Mémoires du Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, 194. Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle: Paris, France. ISBN 2-85653-580-1. 591pp. + 1 cd-rom
Collins, A. G., Winkelmann, S., Hadrys, H. and Schierwater, B. (2005), Phylogeny of Capitata and Corynidae (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa) in light of mitochondrial 16S rDNA data. Zoologica Scripta, 34: 91–99. doi:10.1111/j.1463-6409.2005.00172.x
Schuchert (2014), World Hydrozoa database.

New name is required for the remaining Tubulariida, because Tubulariidae has been moved to Aplanulata.


Buecher, E., Goy, J. & Gibbons, M.J. 2005. Hydromedusae of the Agulhas Current. African Invertebrates 46: 27-69.[1]

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