Anthopleura xanthogrammica “Giant Green Anemone” Anthozoa

Oregon Coast Aquarium, Newport, OR
June 12, 2015
Robert Niese

 

These anemones can grow up to a foot tall and a foot across! They’re abundant on rocky and sandy shores throughout the north-eastern Pacific (from Alaska to Panama). They tend to occur lower in the intertidal zone than their little, pink counterparts (A. elegantissima). The Giant Green Anemone primarily consumes dislodged mussels, crabs, small fish, and urchins, but has been recorded consuming larger animals including baby birds! It’s primary predators are leather stars, snails, and the shaggy mouse nudibranch.

Chrysaora fuscescens “Pacific Sea Nettle” Scyphozoa

Oregon Coast Aquarium, Newport, OR
June 12, 2015
Robert Niese

 

The Pacific Sea Nettle is a relatively common sea jelly along North America’s Pacific Coast. They are also commonly kept in captivity due to their relatively simple care and attractive coloration. The tentacles of this species can easily grow up to 5 meters long, but are specialized for capturing small zooplankton and are relatively harmless to humans. These sea nettles have been increasing in abundance along the coasts of Oregon for the past few years. It’s possible that rising global sea temperatures or other anthropogenic changes to the local environment are the cause of this drastic increase in nettle populations.

Anthopleura elegantissima “Aggregating Anemone” Anthozoa

Olympic National Park, WA
June 1, 2013
Robert Niese

A very common intertidal resident here in the Puget Sound and on the open coast. If it’s big and green, it’s Anthopleura xanthogrammica. If it’s white and has very fine tentacles (usually subtidal, not intertidal) then it’s Metridium. Now you can identify 90% of the anemones you find in your backyard!