Plumose Anemone

Plumose Anemone (Metridium senile) as seen in our Passages of the Deep exhibit.

Also known as the White-plumed Anemone, these beautiful animals have tall, slender columns when extended. They have a broad oral disc covered with short, slender, tapering tentacles. These anemones may be delicate shades of white, cream, tan, orange or brown. Plumose anemones appear motionless, but expand and contract very slowly. These anemones often hide in protected places under ledges and in caves where there is little wave action. They will sweep the passing seawater with their tentacles to extract small zooplankton. When disturbed, the Plumose Anemone will fold in their tentacles and close in on themselves. They reproduce sexually by releasing sperm and eggs into the sea and also asexually through cloning where they break off small fragments of their foot which develop into new, tiny anemones, all the same color and genetically identical.


Range & Habitat:

Plumose anemones are common from southern Alaska to southern California. Young specimens will often form dense colonies on pilings, floats, breakwaters and jetties in bays and harbors. Larger, solitary animals live in the subtidal zone to 120 ft. (37 m).


Conservational Status:

Common.

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