Sunburst Anemone - Anthopleura Sola

Anthopleura elegantissima (aggregating anemone). In the year 2000, Vicki Pearse and Lisabeth Francis collected these animals at nearby Soquel Point and the entrance to Santa Cruz Harbor. Upon a closer look, they determined they were actually different species. One that was solitary and one that was more colonial. However, they are closely related, which is why they look so similar. The Sunburst anemone prefers calmer more protected waters, while the aggregate anemone prefers active wave action, as found at the harbor entrance. The sunburst anemone can reach over 9 inches wide, where aggregating anemone only grow about 3 inches.