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Investigaciones marinas

On-line version ISSN 0717-7178


HAUSSERMANN, Verena. Biodiversity of Chilean sea anemones (Cnidaria: Anthozoa): distribution patterns and zoogeographic implications, including new records for the fjord region. Investig. mar. [online]. 2006, vol.34, n.2, pp.23-35. ISSN 0717-7178.

The present paper provides a complete zoogeographical analysis of the sea anemones (Actiniaria and Corallimorpharia) of continental Chile. The species described in the primary literature are listed, including depth and distribution records. Records and the taxonomic status of many eastern South Pacific species are doubtful and need revision and confirmation. Since 1994, we have collected more than 1200 specimens belonging to at least 41 species of Actiniaria and Corallimorpharia. We sampled more than 170 sites along the Chilean coast between Arica (18°30'S, 70°19'W) and the Straits of Magellan (53°36'S, 70°56'W) from the intertidal to 40 m depth. The results of three recent expeditions to the Guaitecas Islands (44°S) and the Central Patagonian Zone (48°-52°S) are included in this study. In the fjord Comau, an ROV was used to detect the bathymetrical distribution of sea anemones down to 255 m. A distribution map of the studied shallow water sea anemones is given. The northern part of the fjord region is inhabited by the most species (27). The results show the continuation of species characteristic for the exposed coast south of 42°S and the joining of typical fjord species at this latitude. This differs from the classical concept of an abrupt change in the faunal composition south of 42°S

Keywords : distribution; zoogeography; benthos; Actiniaria; Corallimorpharia; Chile.

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