Photo Gallery Spotlight: Anthopleura sp. Anemone
Welcome to the Photo Gallery Spotlight. Each month we'll showcase a particularly nice aquarium photograph, taking the time to discuss the identification and husbandry of the animal pictured as well as information relating to the technical details of how the photo was taken. Readers are encouraged to send images (and details on the organisms pictured, as well as the details of how they captured the shot) they would like to submit for possible inclusion in this feature to firstname.lastname@example.org . For submissions that are published in Advanced Aquarist, the author will receive a $25.00 gift certificate toward a purchase from one of our advertisers chosen by the recipient.
I've had this anemone for approximately one year. I fed it daily with a mix of meaty seafood and it grew in that time to 4 inches in diameter. It recently divided overnight into three distinct specimens. It was subsequently identified by Alf Nielsen as a species from the genus Anthopleura. These anemones occur in shallow water under bright sunlight but do not necessarily harbor zooxanthellae. Julian Sprung says that he has observed these anemones on rocky jetties and in tide pools in the tropical Eastern Pacific Ocean. Julian expressed concern that their "stickiness" may mean that they aren't safe with small fish, but I haven't experienced any fish losses and they share an aquarium with a few small Anthias and a blenny. I hope to see these anemones commonly available in the aquarium trade someday because I've found them to be hardy and quite attractive.
The picture was taken with a Fuji S1 Pro digital SLR camera and a Tamron zoom lens set at 133mm. The resultant six megapixel picture was reduced for the web. A Nikon SB-26 flash was used off the camera to light the shot, and the camera was set at an aperture setting of F11 and a shutter speed of 1/125 second. The flash was used off the camera in order to avoid reflections from the glass.