Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Green Sea Anemone

Anthopleura xanthogrammica


Fun Facts

    Some fishes develop resistance to the green anemone's sting by covering themselves with mucus.

    After feeding and digestion is complete, the anemone excretes its waste back through the mouth opening.



  This green plantlike organism is actually an animal that lives along the rocky shore. The bright green color of this anemone is due to the single-celled algae living in their tissues. In this mutualistic symbiotic relationship between the anemone and algae, the anemone gains extra nourishment from the algae via photosynthesis, while the algae gain a safe, protected place to live. However, if shielded from sunlight, the anemone is pale due to the absence of these algae in their tissues.
Green anemones tend to be solitary. In some locations, however, there can be up to 14 individuals per square meter. They can move slowly using their basal disks, but usually remain sessile.
Rocky shore organisms are at risk from coastal development and pollution, including waste oil and agricultural runoff. Some areas are also in danger of being "loved to death" by visitors. Tread lightly as you explore the rocky intertidal to avoid crushing algae and animals, and never take organisms from their habitat.
Green sea anemones are usually found at the Aquarium in tanks number 1, 4 and the Tidepool Touch Tank.