As mentioned in the previous section on reproduction, corallimor-pharians exhibit a variety of asexual reproduction methods. Although few studies have been performed to ascertain the frequency of asexual reproduction in corallimorpharians, Chen el al (1995a) did find that up to 25% of the polyps in colonies of Rhodactis indosinensis were in the process of asexual reproduction in the summer months. In aquaria, the rapid spread of corallimorphs, especially those in the zooxanthellate families Ricordeidae and Discosomatidae, is self-evident. Wilkens (1990) reported that blue morphs of Discosoma (Actinocliscus) could produce 15 to 25 new polyps per year in aquaria. It is not uncommon in nature to find several square meters of reef covered by colonies of Discosoma, Ricordea or Rhodactis (Fishelson, 1970;
den Hartog, 1980; Wilkens, 1990). Chadwick and Adams (1991) found that the average rate of polyp production in Corynactis cali-fornica was 46.1 polyps per year, while the average time required to double the number of polyps in a colony was 2 months. Given that Chen et al. (1995a) found that the percentage of polyps undergoing asexual reproduction was greatest in the warmer summer months it seems probable that expansion of a colony can occur quite rapidly in tropical species but much slower in temperate species due to lower w-ater temperatures.
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