The properties of the actinian nervous system are known mainly from physiological experiments on Calliactis parasitica (Couch), and from histological work on Metridium senile (L.). The structure of the nerve-net in the mesenteries of Calliactis is now shown to resemble in general that in Metridium. Methylene blue stains a network of bipolar cells over the retractor muscle, together with sense-cells, and unlike Metridium, multipolar nerve-cells. The nerve-net over the radial surface of the mesentery is similarly much sparser. The distribution of nerve-cells and sense-cells in the column also resembles that in Metridium.
Experiments on Metridium show that as in Calliactis, the rate of conduction in the mesenteries is greater than in other parts of the anemone. The column, including the sphincter region, conducts more slowly. It is thus shown that the presence of a well developed nerve-net over the retractors is associated with the development of fast tracts in the through-conduction system, and of rapid, facilitated contractions of the retractor muscles, in both species of anemone.