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Ghost Anemone

Diadumene leucolena

Ghost anemones have transparent, jelly-like bodies with a whitish or pinkish tint. A circle of 40-60 petal-like tentacles grows from the top of an elongated stalk. (Smithsonian Environmental Research Center)
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Ghost anemones have transparent, jelly-like bodies with a whitish or pinkish tint. A circle of 40-60 petal-like tentacles grows from the top of an elongated stalk. (Smithsonian Environmental Research Center)

The ghost anemone is a jelly-like invertebrate with a flat, rounded base and stinging tentacles at the top of an elongated stalk. It lives on rocks, reefs, pilings and other hard surfaces throughout the Chesapeake Bay.

Appearance:

  • Jelly-like, transparent body with a whitish or pinkish tint
  • Flat, rounded base
  • Elongated stalk with a circle of 40-60 petal-like tentacles growing from the top
  • Tiny mouth in the center of the circle of tentacles
  • Grows to 1.5 inches tall and one-half an inch wide

Habitat:

  • Lives on rocks, reefs, pilings and other hard surfaces in shallow waters
  • Moves by manipulating the base of its body, similar to an inchworm

Range:

  • Found throughout the Chesapeake Bay

Feeding:

  • Eats plankton and tiny fish
  • Uses its stinging tentacles to stun and capture its prey, then push the prey into its mouth

Reproduction and Life Cycle:

  • Reproduces both sexually and asexually
  • Asexual reproduction takes place when a new, identical anemone sprouts from the base of the body
  • To reproduce sexually, anemones release eggs and sperm into the water. Eggs produce free-swimming larvae that eventually settle onto a hard surface.

Other Facts:

  • Related to sea nettles. Just like the notorious jellyfish, anemones have stinging tentacles.
  • Even though they are always attached to a hard surface, anemones can move relatively fast – several inches in just a few hours

Sources and Additional Information:


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