Anthopleura artemisia (Pickering in Dana, 1848)
Common name(s): Burrowing anemone, Burrowing green anemone, Buried anemone, Moonglow anemone
|Anthopleura artemisia, photographed at Seal Beach, CA in a piddock clam hole. The anemone was mostly covered by sand, as is common for this species. I swirled away the sand before taking this picture.|
|Photo by: Dave Cowles, Sept 2010|
How to Distinguish from Similar Species: Both A. elegantissima and A. xanthogrammica have tubercles and symbionts all the way to the bottom of the column, and live on rock or protrude through only a little sand. Some sources say that A. artemisia does not have symbiotic algae.
Geographical Range: Alaska to southern California. Very common around Juneau, Alaska.
Depth Range: Low intertidal and subtidal to about 30 meters
Habitat: Open coast and (more often) in protected bays, prefers habitats with rocks or cobble buried in sand.
Biology/Natural History: Normally
only the tentacles and oral disk are exposed, with the rest of the anemone
buried in the sediment. This species is capable of greatly elongating.
At low tide the anemone may withdraw below the surface of the sediment.
Sometimes they live in holes made by boring clams (see photo above, for example). Individuals are
solitary as in A. xanthogrammica,
but they can divide asexually by longitudinal fission as in A.
elegantissima. They will attack other individuals who are
nearby using their special white spherule tentacles. I find this
species much less commonly than the two other species. Some references
say they contain algal symbionts, but some recent information suggests
that they do not even though they may sometimes be green in color. In British Columbia this species has been observed
feeding on spawned herring eggs.
Types of cnidae in A. artemisia: Spirocysts, atrichs, basitrichs, and microbasic p-mastigophores.
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Morris, Abbott, and Haderlie, 1980. Intertidal Invertebrates of California. Stanford University Press.
O’Clair and O’Clair, 1998. Southeast Alaska’s Rocky Shores. Plant Press.
Flora and Fairbanks, 1966. The Sound and the Sea
Kozloff, 1993, Seashore Life of the Northern Pacific Coast
Hand, Cadet, 1955. The sea anemones of central California part
II. The endomyarian and mesomyarian anemones. The Wasmann Journal
of Biology 13:1 pp. 37-99
This individual was buried in find sand/mud and attached to a shell at Guemes Channel near Guemes Ferry, Anacortes, WA. Photo by Dave Cowles, July 2005
This photo shows the column and tubercles of the Guemes Channel individual above.
Photo by Dave Cowles, July 2005
small individual was photographed in a crevice on a boulder high in the
intertidal (but subject to frequent wave spray and runoff) on Beach #4
near Kalaloch, WA.
Photograph by Dave Cowles. See finger for scale.