Cave with Yellow cluster Anemone

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I met these beautiful colonies of Parazoanthus axinellae during a snorkeling activity in the coastal caves of the island of Pantelleria. In my experience as a diver I have never encountered these sea daisies at almost surface level; evidently in this case the colony of Parazoanthus axinellae has found particularly favorable environmental conditions of light and sea currents: the caves are always poorly lit and Pantelleria is located in the Strait of Sicily, also known for its marine currents. grotta di Parazoanthus axinellae

Grotta con Margherita di mare - Cave with Yellow cluster Anemone - Parazoanthus axinellae - www.intotheblue.it

Grotta con Margherita di mare – Cave with Yellow cluster Anemone – Parazoanthus axinellae – www.intotheblue.it

Parazoanthus axinellae, commonly known as the yellow cluster anemone, is a zoanthid coral found on the southern Atlantic coasts of Europe and in the Mediterranean Sea. Zoanthids differ from true sea anemones, in having a different internal anatomy and in forming true colonies in which the individual animals (polyps) are connected by a common tissue, called the coenenchyme.The species is yellow or orange in colour and each polyp has twenty-four to thirty-six tentacles disposed in two whorls. The polyps are 5 millimetres (0.20 in) in diameter and 20 millimetres (0.79 in) in height. They are connected together in small colonies by a continuous layer of tissue, the coenenchyme.

Grotta con Margherita di mare - Cave with Yellow cluster Anemone - Parazoanthus axinellae - www.intotheblue.it

Grotta con Margherita di mare – Cave with Yellow cluster Anemone – Parazoanthus axinellae – www.intotheblue.it

In this species there are sometimes thick yellow spongy masses of tissue at the base of each zooid. A similar zooanthid is Parazoanthus anguicomus, but that species has more numerous tentacles. Parazoanthus axinellae is found in the temperate eastern Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. It occurs at depths between 23 and 45 metres (75 and 148 ft) on rocky substrates. In the Mediterranean Sea, Parazoanthus axinellae frequently forms dense agglomerations, often in association with the soft coral Alcyonium acaule.

Grotta con Margherita di mare - Cave with Yellow cluster Anemone - Parazoanthus axinellae - www.intotheblue.it

Grotta con Margherita di mare – Cave with Yellow cluster Anemone – Parazoanthus axinellae – www.intotheblue.it

Other organisms in these biodiverse habitats include suspension feeders such as sponges, cnidarians, bryozoans and tunicates, and the rock is encrusted with coralline algae. The colonies of Parazoanthus axinellae sometimes divide to form two closely positioned but separate colonies, and colonies growing in close proximity occasionally coalesce.

(extract from Wikipedia)

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Stefano ha scritto / wrote 119 articoli / Posts.
Questo articolo è stato scritto il / This article was written on 07/03/2023
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