Tag Archive: anemones

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Actiniaria
Family: Stichodactylidae

Genus/species: Stichodactyla tapetum  (aka Discosoma tapetum in the past)


GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Tentacles are short bulbous variegated in a multicolored pattern and densely packed. They are often arrayed in fields on the entire disc. 

Diameter is up to 4 inches.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: S. tapetum are found in the Indo-Pacific and Red Sea covering the sand or reef like a carpet.

DIET IN THE WILD: Feed primarily on nutrients of symbiotic zooxanthellae living in their tissues as well as drifting plankton. 

REMARKS:  They are not known to host clown fish, but they are attractive to anemone shrimp and anemone crabs. In the wild, they are favored by Sexy Shrimp (Thor amboinensis) and Periclimenes spp. commensal shrimps.

They can give a potent sting if touched.



California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Hidden Reef 2018

Animal Diversity Web animaldiversity.org/accounts/Stichodactyla_tapetum/classi…

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/24745127802/in/album-72157659465376212/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-iW

Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Anthozoa
Subclass: Hexacorallia
Order: Actiniaria
Family: Actinodendronidae

Genus/species: Actinodendron plumosum

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The Hell’s Fire Anemone is poorly described. It looks more like a coral than and anemone. The color of  A. plumosum can be light yellowish-green, tan, brown, light green or gray. They have an oral disc that is drawn out into branched tentacles tipped with white swellings resembling globular spheres. Their tree like shape is unique in comparison to other anemones. Size: up to 12″ (30 cm).

Hell fire anemone31862717602_e9e55aaff4_o

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indo-Pacific on coral rich slopes and drop offs with coral gravel, or in shallow sandy and muddy areas. They bury their foot and body into the substrate and adhere their foot to hard surfaces underneath, having only their oral disc and tentacles emerging. When disturbed they can retract their entire body into the sand and be virtually invisible.

REMARKS: The sting from these anemones can damage and even kill other corals and fish. They use their very powerful and venomous nematocyst found in their tentacles to sting and deflect any possible threats or attacks, as well as for capturing prey. In humans the stings can cause ulcers at the site which last for months.



California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Color on the Reef AQA17  2017

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/31862717602/in/album-72157659465376212/

EOL eol.org/pages/421192/details#habitat

Animal-World  animal-world.com/Aquarium-Coral-Reefs/Hells-Fire-Anemone

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink, http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-8C

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Actiniaria
Family: Actiniidae (the largest family of sea anemones)

Genus/species: Entacmaea quadricolor

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The Bubbletip Sea Anemone has an adherent base which attaches to the shape of the substratum. At the top of the column is a flattened oral disc with an oval mouth in the middle. The oral disc and column are smooth and brown, green, or occasionally a fluorescent reddish-orange. Tentacles are up to 10 cm (4 inches) length, often but not always inflated and balloonlike at the tips. 

Length up to 40 cm (16 inches)

Bubble tip anemone5389669474_fb02a667dc_o

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found in the Indo-Pacific, usually in deep crevices with only the tentacles visible.

Bubble tip anemone16122486362_7ee3a9b81d_o

DIET IN THE WILD: E. quadricolor obtains the majority of its energy from solar radiation via its symbiotic zooxanthellae.
Thet are also opportunistic carnivores that capture prey using cnidocytes on their tentacles which contain many “stinging organs” known as nematocysts (or cnidae).

REPRODUCTION: Bubbletip Sea Anemones are broadcast spawners releasing gametes directly into water.

The most common means of asexual reproduction for these anemones is called longitudinal fission, which amounts to them splitting down the middle to make two anemones from one. When it reproduces it will begin to pinch in at two points opposite each other on their base. Then the indentions will draw closer until it splits in two.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List Not Evaluated

REMARKS: They are symbiotic with many species of anemonefishes, such as the common clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris)

E. quadricolor has obligate photosynthetic zooxanthellae, brown algae, which live inside the anemone acting as a carbon and nitrogen source.

This anemone also exhibits biofluorescence.


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Color on the Reef 2017 AQA16

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/31483022142/in/album-72157659465376212/

Ron’s Worldpress shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1Kv

The University of Queensland


SeaLifebase www.sealifebase.org/summary/Entacmaea-quadricolor.html



Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Subclass: Zoantharia
Order: Actiniara (anemones)
Family: Actiniidae

Genus/species: Urticina piscivora

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Large to 20 cm (8 inches) high and 26 cm (10 inches) across. The column is red (without spots) with white. Tentacles are white, and the oral disc is creamy yellow. Normally they do not accumulate debris such as shells and sand.


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Alaska to southern California. Found in low intertidal areas with rocky attachment sites and at least moderate current. Depth to about 50 m (160 feet)


DIET IN THE WILD: Invertebrates, shrimp and small fishes. U. piscivora have no zooxanthellae and depend wholly on capturing their food, a strategy aided by their exceptionally virulent nematocysts (stinging cells), which can cause long-lasting lesions on humans. Food items are usually swept into the central mouth by the tentacles where enzymes digest the food. Non digested items are expelled out through the mouth.


Genus/species: Urticina piscivora3702912695_1708579b2e_b 


REMARKS: One fish species, the painted greenling (Oxylebius pictus), has been observed lying unharmed in this anemone much as clownfish do in tropical anemones. 


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium California Coastal Marine Reef Exhibit

eol eol.org/pages/2549643/details

Walla Walla Universitywww.wallawalla.edu/academics/departments/biology/rosario/…

Georgia Aquariumanimalguide.georgiaaquarium.org/home/galleries/cold-water…

Ron’s flickr www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3702912695/in/set-72157…

Ron’s WordPress shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1l6

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Actiniaria
Family: Metridiidae

Genus/species: Metridium farcimen  aka Metridium giganteum
Metridium farcimen4545409258_06cac3dd83_b

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Erect smooth column. Usually 50 cm (20 in) or less in height The column is slender, smooth and studded with acontia. These are openings through which thread-like nematocysts from inside the body wall can protrude. The oral disc is lobed and deeply convoluted at the edge and bears well over 100 fine, short, tapering tentacles. Color variable from white through cream to tan, brown and orange. Carries short, feathery tentacles in white, brown or gray.

 Metridium farcimenIMG_9548

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Eastern North Pacific: Alaska to Baja California. Found in sub tidal areas attached to rocky substrate. Individuals usually aggregate in groups on deeper rocky reefs.

 Metridium farcimen4673318353_928bfcd2f0_o

DIET IN THE WILD: Plankton—whatever drifts by or is carried in by the tide; predators include Pisaster spp. sea star and some species of nudibranchs.

REPRODUCTION: Eggs and sperm from the gonads embedded in the body wall which are ejected through the mouth. Fertilised eggs develop into planula larvae which settle and metamorphose into polyps.                   

PREDATORS: Pisaster spp. sea star and some species of nudibranchs.

REMARKS: When attacked, they contract suddenly, extruding specialized nematocysts through the mouth and body wall that, much larger than those found in the tentacles, can deter or even kill predators.

 Location: California Rocky Coast and Giant Pacific Octopus exhibits


 The University of Kansas kuscholarworks.ku.edu/dspace/handle/1808/6043

 eol eol.org/pages/704280/details#type_information


 Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3400331201/in/set-72157625127345346/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1lg


Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Pomacentridae (Damselfishes)
Subfamily: Amphiprioninae (anemonefishes)

Genus/species: Amphiprion ocellaris

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Length to 9 cm (3.5 inches). Adults are orange with three broad vertical white bands, thin black margins on fins. Female larger than male. Similar to the Clown Anemonefish (Amphiprion percula) but has 11 spines in the dorsal fin compared to 10, while the spiny part of the dorsal fin is also taller.

Length up to 9 cm (3.5 inches)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Tropical Pacific Ocean among Coral reefs sleeping and feeding among the tentacles of their host anemones Stichodactyla gigantea, Stichodactyla mertensi, as well as the anemone Heteractis magnifica. The False Clownfish is usually found at depths of about 15 metres (50 ft).

DIET IN THE WILD:  Feeds primarily on zooplankton, especially copepods and also on filamentous algae.

REPRODUCTION: A. ocellaris breeds continuously at the Steinhart. Adhesive eggs are laid on a patch of cleared rock near the host anemone’s base and guarded by the male. Eggs hatch after 10 days. The tiny transparent planktonic larvae swim away from the anemone. Two weeks later the larvae metamorphose into small fish. As protandrous hermaphrodites; all individuals mature as males, and all females are sex-reversed males. In the absence of a female the largest male will turn into a female.


Longevity: Up to 12 years in captivity

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List Not Evaluated

REMARKS. Clownfish and anemone display a classic case of mutualism. Clownfish become resistant to their host by gradually (matter of minutes to days) acquiring a covering of mucus by brushing against the tentacles of their host. Once the fish has become chemosensorilly camouflaged, the host anemone’s nematocysts do not sting the clownfish.

Some of the anemone’s nutrition results from the clownfish’s activities; clownfish gain protection among the anemone’s nematocysts.

Nemo and his parents in Finding Nemo resemble this species. That said, Marlin, Nemo’s father, given the scenario would have changed into a female following the death of Nemo’s mother and remained near his host anemone, rather than swimming to Sydney. But then the film makers wouldn’t have a narrative to support this film! The name “Nemo” has found its way into FishBase as a common name for this species in the USA!


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Philippine coral reef 2016

Animal Diversity Web animaldiversity.org/accounts/Amphiprion_ocellaris/


Ron’s flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608339622313/with/3380825084/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-FJ

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Pomacentridae (Damselfishes)

Genus/species: Amphiprion perideraion


GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Pinkish-orange coloration varies in saturation of color by individual. Distinctive narrow white head bar, narrow white dorsal stripe from eyes to tail.

Length: Up to 10 cm or 4 inches in length

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indonesia to Marshall Islands Southwest Japan to northwest Australia. Found in coral reefs from 3–30 m (10-100 ft).  They pursue a symbiotic life with at least 4 anemone species but most commonly with the large (to 1 m or 3.2 ft. diameter) mature magnificent sea anemone (Heteractis magnifica). Also associates with Heteractis crispa, Macrodactyla doreensis and Stichodactyla gigantea.

DIET IN THE WILD: Zooplankton, primarily copepods, as well as filamentous algae.

REPRODUCTION: Protandrous hermaphrodites. Like all anemonefishes, sex and growth are controlled by the dominant female. Elliptical eggs are laid on rocks close under the host anemone’s mantle. The male fish guards the eggs. Upon hatching the larvae drift in the plankton.


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Philippine Coral Reef 2016

Ron’ flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608339622313/with/4689320711/

Arkive  www.arkive.org/pink-anemonefish/amphiprion-perideraion/

fishbase www.fishbase.org/summary/2024

Australia Museum australianmuseum.net.au/pink-anemonefish-amphiprion-perid…

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-FB

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Actiniaria
Family: Actiniidae

Genus/species: Urticina lofotensis

 GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Column diameter to 10 cm (4 inches), height to 15 cm (6 inches). Column bright scarlet or crimson with white warty spots in longitudinal rows; tentacles slender, elongate, scarlet to crimson.

 White-spotted Rose Anemone3005754146_b9c9c195c5_o

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: SE Alaska to San Diego, CA. Found on rocks and walls of surge channels, low intertidal to 15 m (49 feet) on exposed outer coast.

 DIET IN THE WILD: Carnivorous.

REMARKS: Shells or debris rarely found adhered to the tubercles. Juvenile painted greenlings and adults may sleep near its base.


 eol eol.org/pages/2549638/details

 Walla Walla Universitywww.wallawalla.edu/academics/departments/biology/rosario/…

 Washing state Universitywww.beachwatchers.wsu.edu/ezidweb/animals/Urticinalofoten…

 Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3005754146/in/set-72157625127345346/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink   http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1ly


Location; California Rocky Coast, Giants, Octopus exhibit

1-5-12 Haddon’s Carpet Anemone from Ron’s Anemone Series

Stichodactyla haddoni    (Stichodactylidae).

DISTRIBUTION:  Indo Pacific and Red Sea.  

HABITAT: Outside of the reef it resides in soft muddy or sandy substrate.  

APPEARANCE: Identified by its thick central column with large pedal disc, very short, stubby tentacles and tentacle-free oral area, and attains a diameter of about 60 cm.  Can be distinguished from their close relatives Stichodactyla gigantea and Stichodactyla mertensii by the lack of any coloration, spots or markings on the underside of the anemone and down its column

DIET: It consumes any and all animal matter that comes in contact with its tentacles. 

REMARKS: serves as a host for many types of Clownfish in the wild including: Amphiprion clarkii shown here.   S. haddoni has a very potent venomous sting and may harm corals, other anemones and fish.   Most animals that come in contact with the tentacles of Haddon’s anemone will stick to the anemone and be killed by its nematocysts in a few seconds to a few minutes.  May bury itself in sand if threatened.

LOCATION PR03  Seagrass shallows

WORDPRESS SHORTLINK  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-kJ


flickr site  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157623903687834/

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