Parazoanthus axinellae
Scientific classification edit
See text.

Zoanthids (order Zoantharia also called Zoanthidea or Zoanthiniaria) are an order of cnidarians commonly found in coral reefs, the deep sea and many other marine environments around the world. These animals come in a variety of different colonizing formations and in numerous colors. They can be found as individual polyps, attached by a fleshy stolon or a mat that can be created from small pieces of sediment, sand and rock. The term "zoanthid" refers to all animals within this order Zoantharia, and should not be confused with "Zoanthus", which is one genus within Zoantharia.

They are among the most commonly collected coral in reef aquaria, easily propagating and being very durable in many water conditions.

Nomenclature controversy

The name of the order is controversial. Non-specialists often use the term Zoanthidea whereas most taxonomists use Zoantharia. The term Zoantharia in turn is used temporarily instead of Hexacorallia. However, major taxonomic papers published since 1899 by specialists (O. Carlgren and F. Pax have described more species than all other authors combined) use Zoantharia, and most recent specialists on the order[1][2] continue to use the term Zoantharia.

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Afrikaans: Zoantharia
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Кыргызча: Зоантариялар
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русский: Зоантарии
Simple English: Zoantharia