A number of sea anemones normally release pellets containing zooxanthellae in various stages of the life history. All stages are not always present at the same time. Most contain ciliates which ingest the zooxanthellae and other microscopic invertebrates are often present. In these
anemones, ejected zooxanthella-containing pellets represent the pathway through which either excess symbionts are discarded or broken down zooxanthella material is voided. Evidence obtained from some species indicates that the zooxanthella life history may include a step in which zoospore
formation follows cell division and that this only occurs in extruded pellets. In addition, since motile zoospores are present in pellets for up to five days after collection, then it seems almost certain that the zoospore is the dispersal phase of the zooxanthella. Differences between
zoospores from different anemones with respect to color and morphology have been observed and to date two types of zoospore can be regularly recognized.
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