Clavularia sp. : Pale Soft Coral– The Race Rocks Taxonomy

rmapr10clav

A colony of Clavularia sp. by Ryasn Murphy, April 2010. The individual polyps can be seen in unusual clarity.

See Ryan’s underwater set on Flickr with a range of invertebrates:

rmapr10clavclose

This is an enlarged close up of part of the image above.

 

This species is currently being identified. Each polyp is smaller than 1.2cm. Although it may appear at first as a hydroid, it is actually a soft coral, in known as an octocoral because of the eight tentacles. It is found in small patches a few cm. in diameter on the rocks right off the docks at Race Rocks in 10-12 metres of water.

 

Dr. Anita Brinckmann Voss identified this sample and indicated that it is related to Gersemia the soft pink coral. She has seen it in samples from Race Rocks before but not in such a large colony. She also indicated that a new species has been described from the North Pacific and she will try to get us a reference to it.

rmclavactinia

Another photo by Ryan Murphy of a Clavaria colony. The colour difference here is unexplained so far.

Domain Eukarya
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Cnidaria
Class Anthozoa
Subclass Octocorallia
Order Alcyonacea
Family Clavulariidae
Genus Clavularia
Species sp .
Common Name: Pale soft coral

Octocorals on Coral reefs make up a large portion of the species there. The potential medicinal uses of several species of clavularia have been published. The abstract of one such study on Clavularia viridis is shown below:
Lin YS, Khalil AT, Chiou SH, Kuo YC, Cheng YB, Liaw CC, Shen YC. of the Department of Marine Biotechnology and Resources, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan, Republic of China.
Abstract
Chemical investigation of the nonpolar extract of soft coral Clavularia viridis resulted in isolation of five new prostanoids, designated as claviridic acids A-E (1-5, resp.), in addition to the known clavulones I-III. Their structures were determined on the basis of spectroscopic techniques, especially HR-ESI-MS, CD, and 2D-NMR experiments. The isolated marine prostanoids exhibited potent inhibitory effect on PHA-induced proliferation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), as well as significant cytotoxic activity against human gastric cancer cells (AGS)

This file is provided as part of a collaborative effort by the students, faculty, staff and volunteers of
Lester B. Pearson College
April 2010
Garry Fletcher

Urticina crassicornis: Painted Anemone–The Race Rocks Taxonomy

tealia-1

Ryan Murphy photo of this species.



In this video, the soft pink coral Gersemia rubiformis is highlighted. It grows at 7-10 meters over a 3 square meter area off peg #3. Other organisms shown in association in the same area are: Anemone- (both Tealia and Epiactis), hydroids, sponges and colonial ascidians .
Urticina crassicornis has previously been called ” Tealia” anemone. They are one of the most abundant large anemone at Race Rocks in the subtidal area. They use their nematocysts expelled from their stout tentacles for the immobilization of small fish, crustaceans such as krill and anything organic that drifts their way.Pieces of dead fish have been seen clinging to the tentacles. They are believed to live a very long time, as long as they are in an area well supplied with food by the current.

Domain Eukarya
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Cnidaria
Class Anthozoa
Genus Utricina
Species crassicornis
Common Name  Painted Anemone

Return to the Race Rocks taxonomy Index 

This file is provided as part of a collaborative effort by the students,
faculty, staff and volunteers  of Lester B. Pearson College 2006
Garry Fletcher

 

Anthopleura xanthogrammica: Giant Green Anemone–The Race Rocks Taxonomy

rmintertidalanem

Anthopleura xanthogrammica : photo by Ryan Murphy

Physical Description: As says its name, the Giant Green Anemone is the largest green anemone. The diameter of its column can easily reach 175 mm and its height, 300 mm. The column is covered with adhesive tentacles that are short and conical. The green color of the anemone changes, from bright green to a dark greenish brown.

Global Distribution: Anthopleura xanthogrammica lives in the tide pools along the Pacific coast. It can be found from Alaska to Panama.

Habitat: The Giant Green Anemone most likely lives on the rocks of tide pools, usually not deeper than 30 m. Also, it can be found in deep channels in exposed rocky shores.

Feeding: It eats with the help of thousands of nematocysts located on its tentacles. These paralyze the prey. Usually, the Giant Green Anemone feeds on detached mussels, crabs, sea urchins and small fishes.

Predators: This anemone can be eaten by crabs and sea stars, but its most common predator is the snail, which feeds on its tentacles or its column, and the sea spider, which feeds on its column.

Reproduction: To reproduce, Anthopleura xanthogrammica releases sperm and brownish eggs. When the larvae is formed, it swims or floats for a period of time and becomes dispersed. The reproduction of the Giant Green Anemone happens in late spring and summer
.
Interesting fact: Bright sunlight makes the green color of the anemone brighter by encouraging the algae that lives in its tissue to grow. But in the shade, the algae grows weak, making the anemone less colourful and more white in color. Also, a compound from Anthopleura xanthogrammica is now used as a heart stimulant.

Domain Eukarya
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Cnidaria
Class Anthozoa
Subclass Zoantharia
Order Actiniaria
Family Actiniidae
Genus Anthopleura
Species xanthogrammica
Common Name: Giant Green or surf anemone

References:
Gotshall, Daniel W. Guide to marine invertebrates. Monterey : Sea Challengers, 1994.
Abbot, Donald P., Eugene C. Haderlie and Robert H. Morris. Intertidal Invertebrates of California. Stanford : Stanford University Press, 1980.
Giant Green Anemone. 1999. Monterey Bay Aquarium. 8 Nov 2005.

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This file is provided as part of a collaborative effort by the students , faculty, staff and volunteers of
Pearson College
 UWC
Date:
2005
by Caroline Laroche, Québec year 32

Balanophyllia elegans: Orange Cup Coral–The Race Rocks Taxonomy

balanophyllia

Close up of Balanophyllia. Photo by Dr.A.Svoboda

The orange cup coral is one of the few true corals. It is found from Oregon to Southern California and also in British Columbia.. It is found in low intertidal zones and at Race Rocks it is very abundant, often associated with the brooding anemone and encrusting tubeworms of the 8-10 metre level. It is usually found on and under shaded rocks, on the sides of surge channels and under ledges.

Its physical characteristics include the following: It has a stony, cuplike, calcareous, external skeleton. It has polyps coloured bright orange to yellow. Balanophyllia elegans transparent tentacles bearing wart-like batteries of nematocysts are present in the marginal portion of their discs. The polyps nearly completely retract into the skeleton. The orange cup coral feeds on living and dead animal matter using its tentacles.

Food is caught primarily in the tentacles, but in addition the mouth may open widely, permitting their mesenteries with their nematocyst-laden margins to trap food. Studies done on the orange cup coral and a few similar organisms showed that the tentacles have organelles called spirocysts which resemble nematocysts and evert to produce tangles of sticky tubules. These spirocysts may be important in capturing prey or in attaching coelenterates to the substratum or both. The orange cup coral reproduces by releasing eggs into the parents gastrovascular cavity, where they are fertilized and undergo development to the planula stage before release to the ocean. These then settle on a rock substrate and metamorphose into tiny polyps, which then secrete a skeleton.

Domain Eukarya
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Cnidaria
Class Anthozoa
Subclass Zoantharia
Order Scleractinia
Family Dendrophyllidae
Genus Balanophyllia
Species elegans
Common Name: orange cup coral

References

Kozloff, E.N. 1996 Marine invertebrates of the Pacific Northwest.

Morris, Abbott, Haderlie 1980, Intertidal Invertebrates of California.

This file is provided as part of a collaborative effort by the students, faculty, staff and volunteers of Lester B. Pearson College Dec 2002 Udochukwu Obodo
(PC yr29)

Urticina piscivora: Fish-eating anemone

upiscivora

U.piscivora photo by Dr. A. Svoboda

Urticina piscivora is one of the largest Northern Pacific sea anemones. You can find this type of species from La Jolla, Mexico to Alaska, it can grow about 8 inches (20 centimeters)
Urticina piscivora was called Tealia Anemone. The structure of this anemone consists of a bag formed by three layers a non-cellular “mesoglea” between two tissues, an outer layer called “epidermis” and an internal called gastrodermis.The interior of the bag is the gut also known as gastrovascular cavity. Sheets of tissue or septa extend out form the body wall dividing the gut into compartments wich manifests on the surface as tentacles. Many of the anemones have their tentacles in multiples of six.

Domain Eukarya
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Cnidaria
Class Anthozoa
Genus Urticina
Species piscivora
Common Name Fish eating anemone
urtricina

Utricina photo by Pearson College divers.

Inside the centers of septa, they are often elaborated and called septa filaments .Heavily loaded with stinging cells or nematocysts. Stinging cells are used to immobilize their prey.Urticina piscivora eats small fish.

Sexes are generally separated in sea anemones, but some species may be serial hermaphrodites, functioning males during one spawning and females at a later time. The typical reproductive pattern is to spawn into the water where fertilization occurs. Asexual reproduction occurs in some sea anemones some can reproduce by splitting by two (binary fission), and others will leave little piece of the pedal disk behind as they move, (pedal laceration),

This file is provided as part of a collaborative effort
by the students, faculty, staff and volunteers  of  Pearson College UWC.
Feb. 2002 Nora Lozano Yr.28

Return  to the Race Rocks Taxonomy

Epiactis prolifera : Brooding Anemone The Race Rocks Taxonomy

epiactis

Epiactis prolifers G.Fletcher photo

Brooding anemones,  Epiactis prolifera are a small species. The height of an expanded specimen does not often exceed about 3cm. The basic colour is brown to greenish brown, but it is sometimes red, pinkish, blue,  red or dull green. They are usually found in the subtidal zone (at zero tidal level, especially on intertidal rock benches or surge channels, and in rocky areas with wave action, often in areas with crustose coralline algae. Brooding anemones are also regularly found on the leaves of eelgrass. Red or pinkish red specimens are sometimes found on rocky shores, but rare on eelgrass. They are rarely exposed to the air, not being able to tolerate exposure to the air and sun. Brooding anemones, like other sea anemones, attach themselves to something solid so as not to get carried off by currents or wave action.

The oral disk of brooding anemone is generally marked with radially arranged white lines. The pedal disk and column have similar lines, though they may not be as sharp. The numerous young regularly found on the pedal disk do not originate there by asexual budding, but are derived from eggs fertilized in the digestive cavity. The motile larvae, after swimming out of the mouth, migrate down to the disk and becomes installed there until they become little anemones ready to move and be able to feed themselves. Click on the photo on the left to see a belt of these juvenile anemone around the pink adult which has retracted.

 

Brooding anemone usually spend most of their lives in one place, but some have the ability to move, they can only travel three to four inches an hour. Sometimes the brooding anemone hitch a ride on hermit crabs or decorator crabs. Brooding anemones can protect the crab and if the crab is a messy eater, the sea anemone can pick up bits of food from the crab and eat it. This is one of the biotic associations of Epiactis prolifera. This is also an example of mutualism, where both the organisms living together benefit from each other.

Brooding anemones eat small fish and shrimps. Much of their prey is crustaceans. The brooding anemones capture its prey with its deadly stinging tentacles. Its mouth and tentacles are located on the top of its body. Their stalk and tentacles are bristling with an arsenal of stinging cells, or nematocysts. The double walled microscopic stinging cells contain a hollow thread with a minute harpoon-like barb at the end. When the cell is stimulated either physically or chemically, it explodes and fires the barb and attaches the thread with incredible force into the potential predator or prey and simultaneously injects a potent poison. Usually hundreds and thousands of these stinging cells are activated at once, which can paralyze prey or deter most predators.

After being immobilized, the prey which may include shrimps, crabs, jellyfish or small fish is manoeuvred by tentacles towards the mouth where it is consumed whole. Any indigestible material or waste will be excreted through the mouth as well. Even with its formidable arsenal of nematocysts, anemones are a favoured prey for other animals. Many nudibranchs feed on anemones and are not only immune to the anemones defenses, but have the ability to absorb un-detonated packets of stinging cells which are then used for the nudibranchs own defense. Sea stars and fish are also some regular predators. If a brooding anemone, like any other sea anemones, is torn apart, then each part becomes a new brooding anemone.

References:Eugene N.Kozloff: Marine Invertebrates of the Pacific Northwest
Seashore Life of the Northern Pacific Coast
Megumi F.Strathmann: Reproduction and Development of Marine Invertebrates of the Northern Pacific Coast
Doug Pemberton: Divers Magazine February 2001
http://divermag.com/archives/feb2001/anemones-feb01.html
Sea Anemones: http://library.thinkquest.org/J001418/anemone.html

This file is provided as part of a collaborative effort by the students, staff, faculty and Volunteers of Lester Pearson College February 2002 Sangeeta Asre Fiji IslandsPearson College: Year 28

 

Epiactis Prolifera: Brooding Anemone- The Race Rocks Taxonomy

broodinganemone

A field of Epiactis prolifera, showing the high variability in colouration– photo by Ryan Murphy.

Brooding anemones or Epiactis prolifera are a small species: the height of an expanded specimen does not often exceed about 3cm. The basic colour is brown to greenish brown, but it is sometimes red, pinkish red or dull green. They are usually found in the subtidal zone (zero tidal zone), especially on intertidal rock benches or surge channels, and in rocky areas with wave action, often in areas with crustose coralline algae. Brooding anemones are also regularly found on the leaves of eelgrass. Red or pinkish red specimens are sometimes found on rocky shores, but rare on eelgrass. They are rarely exposed to the air, not being able to tolerate exposure to the air and sun. Brooding anemones, like other sea anemones, attach themselves to something solid so as not to get carried off by currents or wave action.

 

The oral disk of brooding anemone is generally marked with radially arranged white lines. The pedal disk and column have similar lines, though they may not be as sharp. The numerous young regularly found on the pedal disk do not originate there by asexual budding, but are derived from eggs fertilized in the digestive cavity. The motile larvae, after swimming out of the mouth, migrate down to the disk and becomes installed there until they become little anemones ready to move and be able to feed themselves. You can see the belt of juvenile anemone in several of the images above.

Domain Eukarya
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Cnidaria
Class Anthozoa
Order Actiniaria
Family Actiniidae
Subclass Zoantharia
Genus Epiactis
Species prolifera
Common Name: Brooding Anemone
rmbrooding

Brooding Anemone photo by Ryan Murphy

Brooding anemones eat small fish and shrimps. Much of their prey is crustaceans. The brooding anemones capture its prey with its deadly stinging tentacles. Its mouth and tentacles are located on the top of its body. Their stalk and tentacles are bristling with an arsenal of stinging cells, or nematocysts. The double walled microscopic stinging cells contain a hollow thread with a minute harpoon-like barb at the end. When the cell is stimulated either physically or chemically, it explodes and fires the barb and attaches the thread with incredible force into the potential predator or prey and simultaneously injects a potent poison. Usually hundreds and thousands of these stinging cells are activated at once, which can paralyze prey or deter most predators.

After being immobilized, the prey which may include shrimps, crabs, jellyfish or small fish is manoeuvred by tentacles towards the mouth where it is consumed whole. Any indigestible material or waste will be excreted through the mouth as well. Even with its formidable arsenal of nematocysts, anemones are a favoured prey for other animals. Many nudibranchs feed on anemones and are not only immune to the anemones defenses, but have the ability to absorb un-detonated packets of stinging cells which are then used for the nudibranchs own defense. Sea stars and fish are also some regular predators. If a brooding anemone, like any other sea anemones, is torn apart, then each part becomes a new brooding anemone.

References:

Eugene N.Kozloff: Marine Invertebrates of the Pacific Northwest
Seashore Life of the Northern Pacific Coast
Megumi F.Strathmann: Reproduction and Development of Marine Invertebrates of the Northern Pacific Coast
Doug Pemberton: Divers Magazine February 2001
http://divermag.com/archives/feb2001/anemones-feb01.html
Sea Anemones: http://library.thinkquest.org/J001418/anemone.html

This file is provided as part of a collaborative effort by the students, staff, faculty and volunteers of Lester B. Pearson College February 2002 Sangeeta Asre- Fiji Islands
Year 28

Metridium farcimen: Giant Plumose Anemone–The Race Rocks Taxonomy

remmetridium

Metridium cluster by Ryan Murphy

 

rmmetridium1

The Metridum farcimen polyp can reach well over 30cm in length. Ryan Murphy photo


General description: The Giant Plumose Anemone is a fairly large anemone of typically white, cream, tan, orange or brown colourations. Subtidal animals can often reach 25cm in crown diameter and 50cm in height. However larger specimens have been reported around 75cm in height. Shape of the column is much longer than wide. Tentacles lining the mouth of the oral disk are quite fine, very numerous, slender and short. Tentacle colouration is typically transparent when the tentacles are expanded and take the colour of the column when contracted.
Habitat: Found in both subtidal and low intertidal zones, including jetties, wharfs, harbours, breakwaters and floats. When found on wharfs, anemone communities of dense distribution are common. Larger specimens are often found solitarily in the subtidal. The Plumose Anemone ranges from Alaska to southern California and along both sides of America.

These images by Ryan Murphy show the biological associations of which they are a part.

 

Feeding: Both the small and large anemones feed primarily on zooplankton, using their stinging tentacles to catch the prey. The feeding appears non-selective. Scraps of fish and squid and small benthic (subtidal) organisms are also taken.

In this video Ben from Australia introduces us to this abundant anemone found in the waters around Race Rocks. Note the fine tentacles– ideal for trapping plankton in the high current areas. Also note that this is not Metridium senile as labelled, but Metridium farcimen 

Predators: The Plumose Anemone has few predators. Nudibranchs feed on small anenome, while in Puget Sound (Washington State) a sea star (Dermasterias imbricata) has been found to feed on larger anemones.

Reproduction: The anemone reproduces both asexually and sexually. Asexual reproduction occurs as the anemone moves about, leaving small sections of its pedal disk (base) behind, in a process described as pedal laceration. Dense colonies can be formed in this manner, with the pedal disks forming small cloned rounded anemones that feed and grow.

Sexual reproduction occurs in a broadcast spawning process whereby the males release sperm with wedged-shaped heads stimulating the females to release their eggs, about 0.1mm in diameter with a pinkish colouration. External fertilization occurs, with the zygote dividing to form a planula larva which swims in planktonic form. Adam Harding caught this process in action in July .

ahplumosespawnl2

Metridium spawning, Adam Harding photo.

 Planulae settle and metamorphose into young anemones.

Biotic Associations: Plumose Anemone symbiosis is an area in which little research has been done. Possible commensal behaviour may be similar to other anemones which have certain fish (e.g Clown Fish) which use the anemone.

Interesting behaviour: Anemones are rich in nematocysts (stinging cells) which are used in both defense and attack. The normal tentacles contain these cells used for both defense and feeding. However, in large colonies of Plumose Anemones the species bordering the colony develop a different type of tentacle; “catch” tentacles. These tentacles, which are used to repel non-cloned anemones, take about 9 weeks to develop close to the mouth and may number as great as 19 on an individual organism. If the “catch” tentacles, which contain a different type of nematocysts, touch another anenome from a separate colony a stinging tip breaks of and releases the separate complement of nematocysts. This technique is used to repel intruding anemones. Interestingly, these tentacles can expand to a possible length of 12cm.

metrid2

Domain Eukarya
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Cnidaria
Class Anthozoa
Order Actinaria
Family Metridiidae
Genus Metridium
Species farcimen
Common Name: Giant Plumose Anemone

Reference: R.Morris, D.Abbott, E.Haderlie, Intertidal Invertebrates of California (690) pp. 62-63. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California. 1983.

 

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This file is provided as part of a collaborative effort by the students, faculty, staff and volunters of Lester Pearson College UWC February 2002 Ben Dougall PC28

Epizoanthus scotinus : zooanthid anemone–

epizooanthus2

Epizoanthus scotinus photo by Ryan Murphy

Description

The Epizoanthus is an anemone of the phylum Cnidaria. The class Anthozoa, into which it falls, has the literal meaning of flower animals, hence the Epizoanthus scotinus is a flower animal. Most Anthozoa belong to the subclass zoantharia with about 1000 species of sea anemones and 2500 species of stony corals that have been identified. Typical of the subclass zoantharia, Epizoanthus scotinus is colonial. The bases of the polyps in each group are connected having a column with sand or other foreign material embedded in it. The anemone are abundant along sea coasts but zoantharia occur in deep water as well. At Race Rocks, we typically find this species in darkened protected spaces, such as along the base of a vertical rock or under a protecting overhang. They are not very common but when they do occur, they will occupy up to 900 square centimeters. They also occur in very shallow water at Weir Point in Pedder Bay

 This short video taken by the divers shows a close up view, showing the density of the colony. They are a rather primitive looking, small anemone,.

 

Domain Eukarya
Kingdom Animalae
Phylum Cnidaria
Class Anthozoa
Subclass Zoantharia
Order Zoanthinaria
Genus Epizoanthus
Species scotinus
Common Name Zooanthid anemone
rmepizooanthus

A large colony of Epizoanthus scotinus on a boulder. Photo by Ryan Murphy

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This file is provided as part of a collaborative effort by the students, faculty, staff and volunteers  of Lester B. Pearson College Dec. 2001 Sikhululekile Hlatshwayo,
PC yr 27