American tube dwelling anemone

Ceriantheopsis americanus

ORDER Ceriantharia

FAMILY Cerianthidae

TAXONOMY

Cerianthus americanus Agassiz in Verrill, 1864, Charleston, South Carolina, United States.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Burrowing mud anemone, North American tube anemone, tube sea anemone.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Solitary, elongate, worm-like anemone up to 14 in (36cm) long and 0.79 in (2 cm) wide. Two rings of thin tentacles: up to 125 long ones around the outer edge of the oral disk, and an inner ring of short ones surrounding the mouth. Produces a soft, slippery, felt-like gray tube formed of ptychocysts, mucous, and debris. Colors range from brown or tan to maroon or purple.

DISTRIBUTION

Eastern coast of United States from Cape Cod south into the Gulf of Mexico; Caribbean; West Indies.

HABITAT

Intertidal zones up to 227 ft (70 m) deep; builds tube in vertical burrow as much as 18 in (45 cm) deep in muddy or sandy bottom; only the oral end emerges from the tube.

BEHAVIOR

Will withdraw rapidly to bottom of tube when disturbed.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Spreads tentacles over the surface of the sand or mud to obtain food. Captures its prey with the longer outer tentacles and transfers it to the shorter tentacles surrounding the mouth.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Hermaphroditic; fertilized eggs have been spawned in the laboratory, suggesting self-fertilization is possible.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS Sold in the aquarium trade. ♦

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Captures prey by envelopment; the center of the oral disc is drawn down while the edges constrict to form a bowl that closes up like a drawstring within 3 sec, enclosing prey and up to 1 gal (4 l) of water. The prey, which may include zooplankton, shrimp and fishes, continues to swim or crawl within the enclosed space for 10-20 min after envelopment, after which it is swallowed. It has been suggested that A. fenestrafer mimics anemones that host anemonefish, thereby attracting anemone-fish upon which it can feed. It also derives nutrition from symbiotic zooxanthellae harbored within cells lining the inside of the tentacles.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Capable of asexual reproduction by longitudinal fission, pedal laceration, and budding from the column. Data on sexual reproduction are lacking, although individuals with functional male gonads have been identified.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not listed by the IUCN or CITES.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS Sold in the aquarium trade. ♦

Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment