anthopleura

Starburst Anemone - Anthopleura sola

Anthopleura sola (Actiniaria - Actiniidae) is a solitary anemone up to 25 cm wide, with pale, variously colored tentacles with pink, lavender, or blue tips, arranged in five rings around the oral disk. 

The Starburst Anemone commonly lives on exposed rocky surfaces and in tidepools and crevices, in the middle intertidal zone of semiprotected rocky coastlines, and can be found in the Pacific Ocean, along the west coast of North America from Alaska to Baja California.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Douglass Moody | Locality: Royal Palms State Beach, San Pedro, California, US (2011)

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“Giant Green Anemone” (Anthopleura xanthogrammica)

Also known as the Green Surf Anemone, Green Anemone, Solitary Anemone, Rough Anemone, and the Giant Tidepool Anemone, Anthopleura xanthogrammica is a species of Actiniid sea anemone that inhabits low to mid intertidal zones in the Pacific Ocean, ranging from Alaska to Southern California and rarely down to Panama. Like other sea anemones A. xanthogrammica sports several nemoatocyst lined tentacles which are used to paralyze and capture prey that wanders too close. Phoyosynthetic algae of the genus Zoochlorella and dinoflagellates of the genus Symbiodinium live in the tissue and gut of A. xanthogrammica, in this symbiotic relationship they will provide nutrients to the anemone via photosynthesis (partly giving the anemone its green coloration) and in turn they get a safe place to reside. 

Classification

Animalia-Cnidaria-Anthozoa-Hexacorallia-Actinaria-Nyantheae-Thenaria-Actiniidae-Anthopleura-A. xanthogrammica

Image: Stan Shebs

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Tide pool anemones.
#anemone #anthopleura #xanthogrammica #tidepools #tidepool #greenanemone #oregoncoast #oregon #portorford (at Oregon Coast)

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Anthopleura elegantissima “Aggregating Anemone” Anthozoa

Olympic National Park, WA
June 1, 2013
Robert Niese

A very common intertidal resident here in the Puget Sound and on the open coast. If it’s big and green, it’s Anthopleura xanthogrammica. If it’s white and has very fine tentacles (usually subtidal, not intertidal) then it’s Metridium. Now you can identify 90% of the anemones you find in your backyard!

Aggregating Anemone - Anthopleura elegantissima

Anthopleura elegantissima is a sea anemone which commonly lives on exposed rocky surfaces and in tidepools and crevices. It is found in the middle intertidal zone of semiprotected rocky coastlines of both the outer coast and bays, along the west coast of North America from Alaska to Baja California.

As its common name suggests, this species is found in clonal groups of aggregating individuals. Individuals range from 2-5 cm across the oral disc, but are usually less then 3.5 cm across. The disc can be twice that size when extended. Solitary animals are larger, averaging 6.5 cm across the oral disc; once considered a solitary form of the same species, these larger, non-cloning individulas have recently been described as a sibling species, Anthopleura sola

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Richard Droker (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) | Locality: Washington coast, US (2011)

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And the 2nd place winner in the “Sanctuary Life” category of our 2016 Get Into Your Sanctuary photo contest is Evan Barba! 

Evan, visitor to Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, photographed this sunburst anemone (Anthopleura sola) on a dive near Santa Cruz Island when he made a safety stop. Though anemones like this individual tend to collect sediment and debris over time, this one was found on a near-vertical rock face, leaving its beautiful coloration and patterning within easy view! 

(Photo: Evan Barba)

Anthopleura xanthogrammica “Giant Green Anemone” Anthozoa

Oregon Coast Aquarium, Newport, OR
June 12, 2015
Robert Niese

These anemones can grow up to a foot tall and a foot across! They’re abundant on rocky and sandy shores throughout the north-eastern Pacific (from Alaska to Panama). They tend to occur lower in the intertidal zone than their little, pink counterparts (A. elegantissima). The Giant Green Anemone primarily consumes dislodged mussels, crabs, small fish, and urchins, but has been recorded consuming larger animals including baby birds! It’s primary predators are leather stars, snails, and the shaggy mouse nudibranch.

NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

The 2nd place winner in the “Sanctuary Life” category of our 2016 Get Into Your Sanctuary photo contest is Evan Barba! Evan, visitor to NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, photographed this sunburst anemone (Anthopleura sola) on a dive near Santa Cruz Island when he made a safety stop. Though anemones like this individual tend to collect sediment and debris over time, this one was found on a near-vertical rock face, leaving its beautiful coloration and patterning within easy view! (Photo: Evan Barba)

Moonglow Anemone - Anthopleura artemisia

Also referred to as Buried Green Anemone, and Burrowing Anemone, Anthopleura artemisia (Actiniaria - Actiniidae) is a species often found buried in a mixed sandy, shelled, and cobbled ocean floor, with only its tentacles and oral disc exposed.

This anemone has long, slim tentacles. It varies in color from grayish green to brown or black, though sometimes it has pink or orange tentacles like the pictured specimen. These anemones are solitary, and can reach 10 cm in diameter with a buried column to 25 cm long. They can be found on shorelines along the west coast of North America, from Alaska to Baja California.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Marlin Harms | Locality: Montana de Oro State Park, San Luis Obispo Co., California, US (2010)

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Giant Green Anemone

This striking green anemone is Anthopleura xanthogrammica (Actiniaria - Actiniidae), commonly named Giant Green Anemone not only for its stunning color, but for its size, as their tentacular cap crown can reach a diameter up to 25 cm and the column diameter may be up to 17 cm. Though they seem beautiful and harmless, Giant green anemones are in fact carnivores.

The green color of this anemone is due to the presence of symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae and zoochlorellae) living inside its tissues. When sunlight is plentiful, the green algae (zoochlorellae) proliferate, producing a bright green color. If the animal is in shade, the green algae will be reduced in number or absent, and they will look brown by a higher proportion of brown algae (zooxanthellae). 

There is little information on the lifespan of this species; however, there is record of an individual being kept in captivity for 80 years. Their longevity in the wild has been estimated at 150 years!.

Giant green anemones are found in tide pools and intertidal/subtidal zones along rocky shores, at depths up to 15 m. They occur along the west coast of North and Central America, from Alaska south to Panama. However, they have also been found in Hudson Bay, Canada, as well as on the eastern coast of Russia.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Valeriya Kholodkov

Locality: Pacific Northwest, North America

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