Giant Plumose Anemone

Giant Plumose Anemone Metridium farcimen

Type of Animal:
Sea Anemone

Attached to docks/float sides/piling sides/rocks/pilings/floating dock undersides/wrecks/ shells/backs of kelp crabs/backs of red rock crabs, jetties, wharves, harbors, floats, breakwaters, kelp forest, bays near rocky shores, continental shelves, exposed rocky shores, protected rocky shores, hydrothermal vents, cold water seeps, decomposing whale carcasses on seabeds, polluted waters, found from subtidal/intertidal areas all the way to 984.252 ft deep

E Pacific from Alaska to S California

Large anemone, slender smooth column, usually opaque white but sometimes appears in orange, salmon, & brown colors, large specimens have long thick fighting tentacles

Zooplankton, small benthos, small fish, fish scraps, squid scraps

Status in Wild:

Colonies of up to 5-100 or solitary. Solitary specimens almost always larger individuals.

Additional Info:

9.84 in

1 day

Life Span:
100-500 years

1.64-3 ft

Main predators are leather stars, nudibranchs, & Pisaster sea stars.
These anemones can reproduce asexually & sexually. More often reproduce sexually w/ sperm/eggs being released into water simultaneously. Reproduce asexually by pedal laceration (form of cloning), where parent anemone moves away from original attachment point, leaving behind pedal disk pieces, eventually growing into new anemone.
When planula hatch, they’re planktonic until attaching to hard surface, developing pedal disk.
Also called White-Plumed Anemone, Giant White-Plumed Anemone, Frilled Anemone, Sun Anemone, & Powder Puff Anemone.
One of world’s tallest polyps.
Like other anemones, they’re sit-and-wait predators.
Eggs are 0.1 mm in diameter.
While appearing motionless, they expand/contract very slowly.

Fun Fact(s):
Farcimen means “with stuffing or sausage” referring to sausage-like appearance.
If they can, they’ll stay in same place for entire life, which can be as many as 500 years.
These animals should not be handled w/ one’s bare hands. Preferably, they shouldn’t be handled at all even though stings have little effect unless occurring in more sensitive area.
These anemones can have 100-200 tentacles. These tentacles have nematocysts (stinging cells). Tentacles used to catch food & in defense. Many individuals also have catch/fighting tentacles. All solitary anemones have them though many solitary anemones accept other anemones. Anemones at colony edge (especially those stemming from asexual reproduction) have them as well, using them to repel non-clonal anemones. These long tentacles can be up to 4.72 in. These anemones also use fighting tentacles for repelling other species as well.
They take food & expel waste through same opening.

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