Skip Navigation

Species Search:
FieldGuidesthreatened and/or endangered search resultsthreatened and/or endangered

previous  | next

Aggregating Anemone Anthopleura elegantissima


enlarge +

Aggregating Anemone
credit: Davefoc/CCSA

All Images


Get Our Newsletters


Advanced Search

Category: Jellies, Anemones and kin view all from this category

Description Anthopleura elegantissima, also known as the aggregating anemone or clonal anemone, is the most abundant species of sea anemone found on rocky, tide swept shores along the Pacific coast of North America. This cnidarian hosts endosymbiotic algae called zooxanthellae that contribute substantially to primary productivity in the intertidal zone. A. elegantissima has become a model organism for the study of temperate cnidarian-algal symbioses.

The polyps of Anthopleura elegantissima reach up to eight cm across the oral disk with approximately 100 tentacles in three or four rows around the margins of the oral disk. Most are olive to bright green (depending on the species of algal symbionts present) with tentacles tipped in pink. Individuals that live in microhabitats that are deficient in photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), such as under docks or in caves, lack symbionts and are pale yellow to white in color.

Habitat Rocks, Piers, driftwood & pilings, Tidepools.

Range Alaska, California, Northwest, Western Canada.