Scientific Name Anthopleura elegantissima
Native To Northern Pacific Ocean
Habitat Tidal pools and offshore
Diet Small fish, algae, invertebrates and detritus (dead particulate organic matter)
Size and Age Up to 7 cm (2.8 in) diameter; lifespan estimated to be several decades long
These anemones are commonly known as aggregating anemones because they can rapidly clone themselves, and live in large clusters of genetically identical individuals. Clonemates from different clusters are actually enemies. Anemones on the edges of the cluster develop large white nodules that are full of stinging cells. They use these stinging cells to ward off members of another clone group.
Two major threats facing these anemones are loss of suitable habitat and pollution, such as oil spills and agricultural runoff. As ocean levels rise the tidal pools these specialized animals live in become unsuitable.
- This is the most abundant anemone species found on the Pacific coast of North America.
- These anemones will reproduce sexually by releasing eggs and sperm into the water to create a genetically new individual that will start its own cluster.
- Sticky bumps on the outside of the anemone’s body will pick up sand and shells, this provides camouflage and prevents the anemone from drying out.