Most endosymbionts remain separated from their host cell by a derivative of the phagocytic membrane. This membrane and its contents have been defined as a novel “organelle-like” structure called a symbiosome. However, in the case of many cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbioses the putative symbiosome is composed of multiple layers of apparent membranes (Fig. 1). In the past the origin of these membranes has been assigned to host and/or symbiont with very little experimental evidence to support either view; however, several interesting hypotheses have been proposed to explain the origin of the “membranes”. Trench and Blank suggest that occasionally the outer most layer of the vegetative symbiont's cell wall is sloughed off the surface of the cell. They concede that the outer most layer of “membranes” must be the host vacuolar membrane, but believe that it simply prevents the sloughed layer from moving away from the cell, (as would happen in culture), and that, over time, multiple sloughed layers accumulate beneath the host vacular membrane.