University of Bristol logo Fossil group banner, with title and coposite picture of fossils


The phylogenetic relationships of the anthozoans are not resolved and there is no universally agreed classification (see this summary of the debate). Anthozoa are traditionally divided into two or three groups, either recognising the black corals and tube anemones, which both have singly occurring mesenteries as a shared feature, as a subclass (Ceriantipatharia) or demoting them to orders within the Zoantharia. The latter scheme (of Hyman, 1940) is used here.

Class Anthozoa
Subclass Zoantharia (=Hexacorallia)
Order Antipatharia (black corals)

Order Cerianthia (tube anemones)

Order Rugosa (extinct)

Supersuborder Cystiphyllida (M. Ord. - ?U. Perm.)

Supersuborder Stauriida (M. Ord. - U. Perm.)

Order Tabulata (extinct)
Suborder Lichenariina (L. Ord. - L. Sil.)

Suborder Sarcinulina (M. Ord. - M. Dev.)

Suborder Favositina (M. Ord. - Perm.)

Suborder Auloporina (Ord. - Perm.)

Suborder Syringoporina (M. Ord. - Perm.)

Suborder Halysitina (M. Ord. - U. Sil.)

Suborder Heliolitina (M. Ord. - M. Dev.)

Order Scleractinia (stony corals)
Suborder Astrocoeniina

Suborder Fungiina

Suborder Faviina

Suborder Caryophyllina

Suborder Dendrophyllina

Order Actinaria (sea anemones)

Order Zoanthidae (soft corals)

Subclass Alcyonaria (=Octocorallia)
Order Alcyonacea (soft corals)

Order Gorgonacea (sea fans and sea feathers)

Order Helioporacea (blue coral)

Order Pennatulacea (sea pens and sea pansies)

Order Stolonifera (organ-pipe corals)

Order Telestacea (soft corals)

Author: Ben Kotrc
Last updated: 21 November 2005
Return to Fossil groups home page

Websites produced by students on the MSc Palaeobiology programme in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol for academic year 2005-6