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Heteractis magnifica with Maldive anemonefish and juvenile threespot dascyllus
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Hexacorallia
Order: Actiniaria
Suborder: Enthemonae
Superfamily: Actinioidea
Family: Stichodactylidae
Andres, 1883

Stichodactylidae is a family of sea anemones that contains the genera Stichodactyla (carpet anemones) and Heteractis. These sea anemones exclusively reside within the shallow waters of the tropical Indo-Pacific area and are in the main family of sea anemones that hosts several varieties of clownfishes.[1] Most sea anemone species are harmless to humans, but at least some Stichodactyla are highly venomous and their sting may cause anaphylactic shock and organ failure (notably acute liver failure).[2][3] In contrast, the venom of Heteractis has shown potential in treatment of lung cancer.[4]


C. Collingwood first discovered Stichodactylidae back in 1868 after taking note on the existence of gigantic sea-anemones in the China Sea, containing quasi-parasitic fish.[5]

Genera and species[edit]

The following species are recognized within the family Stichodactylidae:[6]



  1. ^ Fautin, Daphne G.; Allen, Gerald R. (1997). Field Guide to Anemone Fishes and Their Host Sea Anemones. Western Australian Museum. ISBN 9780730983651. Archived from the original on 14 April 2015.
  2. ^ Garcia, Patricia J.; Schein, R.M.; Burnett, J.W. (1994). "Fulminant hepatic failure from a sea anemone sting". Annals of Internal Medicine. 120 (8): 665–666. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-120-8-199404150-00007. PMID 8135451. S2CID 36774168.
  3. ^ Nagata, Keiko; Hide, Michihiro; Tanaka, Toshihiko; Ishii, Kaori; Izawa, Masao; Sairenji, Takeshi; Tomita, Katsuyuki; Shimizu, Eiji (2006). "Anaphylactic shock caused by exposure to sea anemones". Allergology International. 55 (2): 181–184. doi:10.2332/allergolint.55.181. PMID 17075255.
  4. ^ Ramezanpour, Mahnaz; da Silva, Karen Burke; Sanderson, Barbara J. S. (2013). "Venom present in sea anemone (Heteractis magnifica) induces apoptosis in non-small-cell lung cancer A549 cells through activation of mitochondria-mediated pathway". Biotechnology Letters. 36 (3): 489–495. doi:10.1007/s10529-013-1402-4. PMID 24190482. S2CID 254291044.
  5. ^ Attaran, Gilan & Javid, Pegah & Shakouri, Arash. (2015). Morphology and phylogeny of the sea anemone Stichodactyla haddoni (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Actiniaria) from Chabahar Bay, Iran. TURKISH JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY. 39. 998-1003. 10.3906/zoo-1310-4.
  6. ^ "WoRMS - World Register of Marine Species - Stichodactyla Brandt, 1835". Retrieved 2018-04-07.