Corynactis californica is a bright red colonial anthozoan similar to sea anemones and scleractinian stony corals. Unlike the Atlantic true sea anemone, Actinia fragacea, that bears the same common name, strawberry anemone, this species is a colonial animal of the order Corallimorpharia. Other common names include club-tipped anemone and strawberry corallimorpharian. The anemone is known to carpet the bottom of some areas, like Campbell River in British Columbia, and Monterey Bay in California.
The strawberry anemone grows no larger than 2.5 centimeters. The anemone is always bright red with transparent to white tentacles that are bulbous at the tips. The strawberry anemone resembles sea anemones in that they lack a calcareous skeleton, but are closer related to stony corals in that they lack basilar muscles.
The strawberry anemone is found in water deeper than ten feet and may not be visible in intertidal pools. When held and raised in captivity, the strawberry anemone may be fed on tiny crustaceans including brine shrimp. Aquarium hobbyists integrating Corynactis californica into live coral settings provide hard stubstrates for colonial expansion, since this species kills coral and anemones when competing for resources. Like most cnidarians, the strawberry anemone can replicate both asexually (cloning) and sexually through polyp dispersion.
Live examples of Corynactis californica can be viewed in many Pacific aquariums, including the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Vancouver Aquarium, and a few located elsewhere, such as the Diergaarde Blijdorp in the Netherlands.
- http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=283836 accessed 16 July 2010
- Natural History Photography: C. californica
- Chadwick, N. Interspecific aggressive behavior of the corallimorpharian Corynactis californica. Department of Zoology, University of California, Berkeley.
- Carlgren, O. (1949). A survey of Ptychodactiaria, Corallimorpharia, and Actiniaria. Kungl. Svenska Vetenskapsakademiens Handlingar 1: 1-121.
- "Corynactis californica". Integrated Taxonomic Information System.
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