Starburst anemone

Anthopleura sola

''Anthopleura sola'', commonly known as the starburst anemone or giant green anemone, is a species of sea anemone of the family Actiniidae. ''A. sola'' was previously considered the solitary form of the common aggregating anemone ''Anthopleura elegantissima'', but was identified as a separate species in 2000.
Sea Anemone This is a Solitary Sea Anemone (Anthopleura sola). They are common to tide pools along the Pacific coast of the United States. This one is about 10 cm. (4 inches) in diameter. They can reach diameters of up to 25 cm. (just under 10 inches). Anthopleura sola,Fall,Geotagged,Pacific coast,United States,harmless,intertidal zone,invertebrate,stinging,tide pools

Appearance

''A. sola'' is a solitary anemone that averages 12 cm but can grow up to 25 cm wide, much larger than ''A. elegantissima''.
The column is pale green to white in color and is twice as long as its width when extended. The column has numerous sticky protuberances arranged in vertical rows to which gravel and shell fragments adhere. The oral disc is radially striped and has five rings of thick, pointed feeding tentacles. Tentacles are pale with the tips colored in pink, blue or lavender.

''A. sola'' can be differentiated from A. elagantissima by its larger size and usual solitary form. It is differentiated from ''Anthopleura xanthogrammica'' by the coloration of the tentacle tips, striped oral disk, and vertical rows of verrucae.

The color of the anemone is partly caused by symbiotic ''Zooxanthellae'' in the gastrodermal layer. This species of anemone reproduces sexually.
Starbust Anemone Sep 2014.
Tidal pools next to Morro Rock, Morro Bay, CA.
A. sola is a solitary anemone that averages 12 cm but can grow up to 25 cm wide.The column is pale green to white in color and is twice as long as its width when extended. The column has numerous sticky protuberances (verrucae) arranged in vertical rows to which gravel and shell fragments adhere. The oral disc is radially striped and has five rings of thick, pointed feeding tentacles. Tentacles are pale with the tips colored in pink, blue or lavender. In the second pic you can see one with its stomach inside out to remove undigested material. Anthopleura sola,Fall,Geotagged,United States

Distribution

The starburst anemone is found in the north west Pacific Ocean. In the United States it occurs between central California and Baja California. It lives in the lower intertidal zone in rocky habitats, often in the shelter of cracks and crevices. When the tide is out it is often concealed by shell fragments and other particles that adhere to it.

Habitat

The starburst anemone is found in the north west Pacific Ocean. In the United States it occurs between central California and Baja California. It lives in the lower intertidal zone in rocky habitats, often in the shelter of cracks and crevices. When the tide is out it is often concealed by shell fragments and other particles that adhere to it.

Defense

''Anthopleura sola'' aggressively defends its territory from other anemones which are genetically dissimilar. When ''A. sola'' encounters a different genetic colony, the anemones extend specialized tentacles . The white tips of acrorhagi have a concentration of stinging cells and are used solely to deter other colonies from encroaching on their space. The nematocysts sting the ectoderm of the invader, causing tissue necrosis and forcing the competitor to move away. The similar aggregating anemone also possesses acrorhagi.

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Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionCnidaria
ClassAnthozoa
OrderActiniaria
FamilyActiniidae
GenusAnthopleura
SpeciesA. sola