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Anthopleura elegantissima (Brandt, 1835)

(photos of Chris Grossman, founder of website, USA: specimens from California)
Anthopleura elegantissima

Anthopleura elegantissima

Below is original colour figure of Anthopleura artemisia as it was published by Dana more than 160 years ago, in 1849, in his Atlas of Zoophytes. Note the colour of the tentacles, the figure shows tentacles of various colour, greenish and yellowish, with rose tips, note also colour of the oral disk, greenish with yellow, and dark lines running to the bases of the tentacles. And now compare this picture with the photos of Anthopleura elegantissima above. Very similar, is not it? For us it is absolutely clear that Dana’s original figure of Anthopleura artemisia shows a species which is currently known as Anthopleura elegantissima or Anthopleura sola.
Technically this means that the name Anthopleura artemisia might become a valid name for Californian anemone known now as Anthopleura elegantissima (because the name A. elegantissima is certainly misapplied to it, see text above). However, internet website is not a valid place to made any taxonomic actions, so our goal here is just to point to existing problem, not to undertake any actions to solve anything.

Anthopleura artemisia

Antopleura elegantissima, also known as aggregating anemone, forms large settlements of many closely aggregated specimens. Hand (1955) wrote: "It most commonly occurs in extensive beds of individuals, sometimes covering more than 60 square feet, the number of individuals in so large bed approaching 100000".

Originally the species Antopleura elegantissima was described from Alaska by Brand in 1835. The description given by Brand is short and not allows certain identification of his species, but it contains some notes on colour of living specimen and it differ considerably from the species from southern locations (California and adjacent regions) currently known under the name Antopleura elegantissima. This fact was recognized by many anemone taxonomists, including Hand, 1955, Cutress, 1949, Pearse and Francis, 2000. The latter authors suggested that "Despite some doubt that the name A. elegantissima is properly applied to the most common small intertidal anemone of California, this name is so well established in the literature that it should be conserved for the clonal species". However, no actions were undertaken to solve incorrectness of the usage of the name Antopleura elegantissima for Californian species. So, although this name is widely used for Californian species this usage is incorrect.

Taxonomic position:
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Subclass: Hexacorallia
Superorder: Hexactiniida
Order: Actiniaria
Suborder: Nynantheae (Thenaria : Endomyaria)

Family: Actiniidae

Species: Anthopleura elegantissima (Brandt, 1835)

Species list of sea anemones:
  • Acricoactis brachyacontis
  • Actinernus robustus
  • Actinia equina
  • Actinodendron sp
  • Actinostella bradleyi
  • Actinostephanus haeckeli
  • Actinostola chilensis
  • Actinothoe sphyrodeta
  • Adamsia palliata
  • Aiptasia couchii
  • Aiptasia mutabilis
  • Alicia mirabilis
  • Alicia sansibarensis
  • Allantactis parasitica
  • Amplexidiscus fenestrafer
  • Andresia parthenopea
  • Anemonia alicemartinae
  • Anemonia viridis
  • Antholoba achates
  • Anthopleura elegantissima
  • Anthopleura hermaphroditica
  • Anthopleura orientalis
  • Anthopleura sola
  • Anthopleura xanthogrammica
  • Anthothoe chilensis
  • Armactinia antarctica
  • Artemidactis victrix
  • Aulactinia vancouverensis
  • Aulactinia vladimiri
  • Bathyphellia margaritacea
  • Boloceroides mcmurrichi
  • Boloceropsis platei
  • Calliactis polypus
  • Cereus herpetodes
  • Cereus pedunculatus
  • Cerianthus lloydii
  • Charisea saxicola
  • Cnidopus japonicus
  • Condylactis aurantiaca
  • Condylactis gigantea
  • Corallimorphus karinae
  • Corallimorphus pilatus
  • Corynactis californica
  • Corynactis carnea
  • Corynactis viridis
  • Cribrinopsis albopunctata
  • Cribrinopsis crassa
  • Cribrinopsis olegi
  • Cryptodendrum adhaesivum
  • Dactylanthus antarcticus
  • Diadumene lineata
  • Discosoma nummiforme
  • Dofleinia armata
  • Edwardsia inachi
  • Edwardsiella loveni
  • Entacmaea quadricolor
  • Epiactis prolifera
  • Epizoanthus couchii
  • Epizoanthus fiordicus
  • Glyphoperidium bursa
  • Gonactinia prolifera
  • Gyractis octoradiata
  • Gyractis verrucosa
  • Halcampa arctica
  • Halcampoides sp
  • Halcampoides mediterranea
  • Halcurias pilatus
  • Heteractis aurora
  • Heterodactyla hemprichii
  • Hormathia lacunifera
  • Hormathia nodosa
  • Hormathia pacifica
  • Hormathia pectinata
  • Hormosoma scotti
  • Isaurus tuberculatus
  • Isoparactis fabiani
  • Isoparactis fionae
  • Isosicyonis alba
  • Korsaranthus natalensis
  • Liponema brevicorne
  • Macrodactyla doreensis
  • Megalactis griffithsi
  • Mesozoanthus fossii
  • Metridium farcimen
  • Metridium lobatum
  • Metridium senile
  • Metridium senile fimbriatum
  • Nemanthus sp
  • Octineon suecicum
  • Oulactis concinnata
  • Pachycerianthus multiplicatus
  • Pachycerianthus solitarius
  • Paracondylactis sinensis
  • Paracorynactis hoplites
  • Paraisanthus tamarae
  • Paranthus niveus
  • Parazoanthus anguicomus
  • Parazoanthus axinellae
  • Parazoanthus elongatus
  • Peachia cylindrica
  • Phellia exlex
  • Phelliactis callicyclus
  • Phyllodiscus semoni
  • Phymactis papillosa
  • Phymanthea pluvia
  • Phymanthus crucifer
  • Phymanthus species
  • Platyzoanthus mussoides
  • Protanthea simplex
  • Protopalythoa mutuki
  • Pseudocorynactis caribbeorum
  • Ptychodactis aleutiensis
  • Ptychodactis patula
  • Radianthus crispa
  • Radianthus magnifica
  • Radianthus malu
  • Rhodactis inchoata
  • Rhodactis indosinensis
  • Ricordea yuma
  • Sagartia elegans
  • Sicyonis heliodiscus
  • Spongiactis japonica
  • Stichodactyla gigantea
  • Stichodactyla haddoni
  • Stichodactyla tapetum
  • Stomphia coccinea
  • Telmatactis sp
  • Triactis producta
  • Urticina clandestina
  • Urticina columbiana
  • Urticina crassicornis
  • Urticina eques
  • Urticina felina
  • Urticina grebelnyi
  • Urticina kurila
  • Urticina mcpeaki
  • Verrillactis paguri

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