A new species in a new genus of sea anemone, Tempuractis rinkai gen. et sp. nov., was discovered at several localities along the temperate rocky shores of Japan. The new species is approximately 4 mm in length and has been assigned to family Edwardsiidae, because it has eight macrocnemes, lacks sphincter and basal muscles, and possesses rounded aboral end. The sea anemone, however, also has a peculiar body shape unlike that of any other known taxa. This new species resembles some genera, especially Drillactis and Nematostella, in smooth column surface without nemathybomes or tenaculi, but is distinguishable from them by several morphological features: the presence of holotrichs and absence of nematosomes. Furthermore, this edwardsiid species exhibits a peculiar symbiotic ecology with sponges. Therefore, a new genus, Tempuractis, is proposed for this species. In the field, T. rinkai sp. nov. was always found living inside homosclerophorid sponge of the genus Oscarella, which suggests a possible obligate symbiosis between Porifera and Actiniaria. The benefit of this symbiosis is discussed on the basis of observations of live specimens, both in the aquarium and field. This is the first report of symbiosis between a sea anemone and a homoscleromorph sponge.
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Vol. 35 • No. 2