Tag Archive: sea 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: 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
Subclass: Hexacorallia (includes stony corals, all sea anemones, tube anemones, and zoanthids)
Order: Actiniaria (sea anemones)
Family: Actiniidae (largest family of sea anemones)

Genus/species: Anthopleura elegantissima

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Most are olive to bright green (depending on the species of algal symbionts present) with tentacles tipped in pink. The oral disk has approximately 100 tentacles in three or four rows around its margins. Those that are deficient in photosynthetically active radiation, such as under docks or in caves, lack symbionts and are pale yellow to white in color.
Disc 2-3 cm (0.78-1.2 in) across, under water.

Aggregating Anemones23710001752_0cf3a8e808_k

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Common in tide pools. The body of the anemone is firmly attached to rock substrate and detritus and sand adheres to the column almost covering them.

DIET IN THE WILD: Capture tiny crustaceans and other animals past their tentacles using their stinging nematocysts (also called cnidocytes) on the surface of their tentacles.

REPRODUCTION: To clone themselves, anemones split in half tearing themselves apart (asexual reproduction). Aggregating anemones also reproduce sexually by broadcasting eggs and sperm.

PREDATORS: Their are few known predators but include the nudibranch Aeolidia papillosa, leather star Dermasterias imbricata and mosshead sculpin Clinocottus globiceps.

REMARKS: When one colony of genetically identical polyps encounters a different genetic colony, the two will wage territorial battles. A. elegantissima has specialized tentacles called acrorhagi to deter non identical colonies from encroaching on their space. It extends the acrorhagi to attack the competing anemone with nematocytes leaving behind a ‘peel’ of the ectoderm and nematocysts that causes tissue necrosis in the receiving animal.


California Academy of Sciences Tidepool

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/23710001752/in/album-72157625127345346/

Encyclopedia of Life  eol.org/data_objects/27560182

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1D1

Monterey Bay Aquarium www.montereybayaquarium.org/animal-guide/invertebrates/ag…

Slatter Museum of the U. of Puget Sound www.pugetsound.edu/academics/academic-resources/slater-mu…

Phylum Cnidaria
Class Anthozoa
Subclass Zoantharia
Order Actiniaria (anemones)
Family Actiniidae

Genus/species: Anthopleura xanthogrammica

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: A  solitary species and one of the largest species of anemone in the world. Column to 30 cm (12 in) tall and 30 cm (12 in) tentacular crown with 25 cm (10 in ) diameter mid base. The base bottom is only slightly larger than column diameter and adheres to rocks.  Tentacles are green, blue, or white without pink on the tips.  No marks or bands.  The oral disk is flat and usually green, but can be grayish-blue to greenish-blue.  Contracted animals form a green to dark greenish-brown, occasionally white hemispherical mound.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Alaska to Panama in prefers rocky areas and deeper tide pools of the low to middle intertidal zones to 9 m (30 ft), and wharf pilings. Usually solitary; in favorable locations can occur in numbers to 14 per square m.

DIET IN THE WILD: Detached mussels and sea urchins, also take crabs and small fishes. Zoochlorellae endosymbionts supplement host’s diet.

PREDATORS: Nudibranchs, snails, sea spiders and some sea stars, especially leather stars.

REPRODUCTION: A. xanthogrammica have separate sexes releasing sperm and eggs in late spring to summer. The larvae swim or float freely. They do not use asexual reproduction.


REMARKS: Some fishes and the hermit crab Pagurus samuelis develop protection from the anemone’s toxins by covering themselves with mucus that prevents them from being stung.

The bright green can be attributed to green pigment in the anemone epidermis and to symbiotic algae that live in the tissues that line the gut. Inside there may be zoochorellae (green algae) or zooxanthellae, which are dinoflagellates. The symbiotic algae are reduced in numbers or even absent (aposymbiotic) when in shady areas.

LOCATION: Tidepool and California coast.


Walla Walla University


 eol eol.org/pages/704306/details#cite_note-Skiles-4

flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157625127345346/

WordPress shortlink: http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-w4

Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Cnidaria, Class Anthoza, Subclass Hexacorillia, Order Actiniara, Family Haluridae.

Halcurias carlgreni 

DISTRIBUTION: West North Pacific

HABITAT: From Japans deeper, cooler waters.

REMARKS:  From Rich Ross California Academy of Sciences Biologist.  http://packedhead.net/Last December when Koji Wada of the renowned Blue Harbor visited the Steinhart Aquarium he was kind enough to bring us two stunning Halcurias carlgreni anemones. From Japans deeper, cooler waters, these anemones are jaw droppingly bright and colorful. Currently, they are being kept at 66 degrees in our Nautilus exhibit and both animals seem to be getting along just fine with each other. The Halcurias are being fed thawed frozen mysis via ‘Julians Thing’ every other day, and we hope they will be so happy and full of food that we will have more of them in the near future. They are of course non-photosynthetic.

LOCATION: Nautilus Exhibit

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

Phylum: Cnidaria, Class: Anthozoa, Order; Actinaria (Anemones), Family: Actinodendronidae.

Actinostephanus haeckeli    

DISTRIBUTION: Western Pacific Ocean

HABITAT; Found on sandy bottoms in lagoons and bays with 12 or more tentacles, and buried during day and active at night.

APPEARANCE: 10-20cm in diameter. It has about 12 long fat cylindrical tentacles that taper at the tips, and below these, another ring of much shorter, slimmer tentacles. The tentacles are studded with bumps. They have a and a flat oral disc. Those seen were a uniform dark brown to black.

DIET: Plankton. 

REMARKS: This anemone could be confused with sea stars.  The projections are tentacles not arms.  they reach out of the mud and sand in which the anemone lives.   

They can move fairly rapidly along the ocean floor leaving a trail in the sand.   

Venoms Cluster PR 25      11-17-11

WORDPRESS BLOG  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-ho

Flickr sea anemone series.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157625127345346/


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