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Aggregating anemone

Anthopleura elegantissima


These colorful anemones are reminiscent of clumps of underwater sunflowers. One individual may clone itself to form colonies like the one shown. Photosynthetic algae and dinoflagellates live symbiotically in the clonal anemone’s pink-tinged tentacles.


Seen in the shallows of the Pacific intertidal zone at Tongue Point Marine Sanctuary at around dusk.


The anemones are surrounded by several other invertebrates and aquatic plants (can't keep track of the species!). Anemones and the algae that live in them will each release distinct compounds for mutual protection from ultraviolet and oxidative stress; this is a useful adaption in such harsh conditions.

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mauna Kunzah
mauna Kunzah a month ago

Thank you, Leuba! Yes, it is a protected area. I really hope it stays that way for the foreseeable future.

Thanks, Saturniidae27. It’s nice that you at least got to visit Maui, though you didn’t get a chance to photograph the anemones. I’ve been there as well.

Saturniidae27 a month ago

Amazing spotting Mauna, I saw some of these in Maui (Kapalua bay), but couldn't take pictures sadly :-)

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway a month ago

Lovely pink tones on tentacles. Hope the sanctuary stays do have some beauties there it seems. Nice series Mauna, thanks.

mauna Kunzah
mauna Kunzah 2 months ago

I can't believe it's been a year since I was there, Brian. I changed a couple of the photos in this spotting.

:-) Isn't it? Thank you.

Brian38 2 months ago

Tongue Point Marine Sanctuary strikes again. Great spotting Mauna! Some of the colonies there were amazing. I love how they can just fill in cracks in the rocks. Such a strange and beautiful organism!

mauna Kunzah
Spotted by
mauna Kunzah

Washington, USA

Spotted on Jun 16, 2019
Submitted on Jun 8, 2020

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