lives partly buried
in sand or shells but base of column
is attached to a rock under the sediment. No acontia.
restricted to the upper two thirds of the column
so lower part of column
is smooth and white or pink (photo).
disk may be bright pink, orange, or green. Tentacles
may be solidly colored or banded, and may be red, white, black, blue,
brown, or green (in SE Alaska they are usually green). The
(if present) are usually white. The outer margins of the oral
disk (outside the ring of tentacles)
contain white spherules for fighting, as do the other Anthopleura
species (these spherules are often hard to see). There may be
spots of color at the base of the tentacles
(Pickering in Dana, 1848)
Common name(s): Burrowing
anemone, Burrowing green anemone,
Buried anemone, Moonglow anemone
photographed at Seal Beach, CA in a piddock
clam hole. The anemone was mostly covered by sand, as is
this species. I swirled away the sand before taking this
|Photo by: Dave
Cowles, Sept 2010
How to Distinguish
from Similar Species: Both
xanthogrammica have tubercles
and symbionts all the way to the bottom of the column,
and live on rock or protrude through only a little sand. Some sources
artemisia does not
have symbiotic algae while most individuals of these other species do.
Range: Alaska to southern
California. Very common around Juneau, Alaska.
Range: Low intertidal and subtidal
to about 30 meters
Open coast and (more often)
in protected bays, prefers habitats with rocks or cobble buried in
only the tentacles
are exposed, with the rest of the anemone buried in the
This species is capable of greatly elongating. At low tide
may withdraw below the surface of the sediment. Sometimes
in holes made by boring clams (see photo above, for example).
are solitary as in A. xanthogrammica,
but they can divide asexually by longitudinal fission as in A.
elegantissima. They will attack other
individuals who are
nearby using their special white spherule tentacles.
I find this species much less commonly than the two other
Some references say they contain algal symbionts, but some recent
suggests that they do not even though they may sometimes be green in
In British Columbia this species has been observed feeding on spawned
Types of cnidae
in A. artemisia:
atrichs, basitrichs, and microbasic p-mastigophores.
1987, Marine Invertebrates of the Pacific Northwest
and Carlton, 1975. Light's Manual: Intertidal
the Central California Coast
Abbott, and Haderlie, 1980. Intertidal
Invertebrates of California.
Stanford University Press.
and O’Clair, 1998. Southeast Alaska’s Rocky
and Fairbanks, 1966. The Sound and the Sea
1993, Seashore Life of the Northern Pacific Coast
Hand, Cadet, 1955. The sea anemones of central
II. The endomyarian and mesomyarian anemones. The
of Biology 13:1 pp. 37-99
General Notes and
Observations: Locations, abundances, unusual behaviors, etc.:
species seems to be much less
common than either A.
least south of Alaska.
This individual was buried in find sand/mud and attached to a shell
at Guemes Channel near Guemes Ferry, Anacortes, WA. Photo by
Cowles, July 2005
This photo shows the column
of the Guemes Channel individual above.
Photo by Dave Cowles, July 2005
This small individual was photographed in a crevice on a
in the intertidal (but subject to frequent wave spray and runoff) on
#4 near Kalaloch, WA.
Photograph by Dave Cowles. See finger for scale.
|The photos below are of an Anthopleura
artemisia anemone about 5 cm diameter found in a
salt creek at Penn Cove, July 2020. Photos by Dave Cowles
|View of the whole individual. This anemone was
immersed as a solitary
individual in a fast-flowing tidal creek at low tide, attached to a
fragment nearly 10 cm below the sediment surface with only the oral
disk and tentacles
|This side view shows the abundant adhesive tubercles
on the upper column
(holding onto bits of sand and shell fragments) but the lack of tubercles
on the lower column
|This closeup shows the pattern on the oral
disk and tentacles.
|In this closeup of the upper column
wall and base of the tentacles, it can be seen that the white
sometimes visible here are currently retracted. Notice how the green
of the column
much paler than normally seen in A.
elegantissima or A.
xanthogrammica. Those species are green because of
while this species has been said to have none so this green would be an
Authors and Editors of Page:
Dave Cowles, 2004, 2005