Bushy Encrusting Anemone – Antipathozoanthus macaronesicus
The Bushy Encrusting Anemone, also known as Macaronesian Encrusting Anemone or Yellow Encrusting Anemone, is a species in the order of the Zoantharia and thus belongs to the class of the Anthozoa. Antipathozoanthus macaronesicus was first described by Ocana & Brito in 2003, under the synonym Gerardia macaronesica. Even if you find it today in many publications, it is no longer up to date!
The Bushy Encrusting Anemone usually has an intense, yellow colour, but can also be slightly orange. Individual polyps reach a height of 1.2cm and a diameter of 0.6cm. They have 42 tentacles, which are up to twice as long as the oral disc.
A colony can be spread out on a square meter or more.
Habitat and Distribution
Antipathozoanthus macaronesicus lives on Black corals, sponges or solid ground, down to 200m depth. According to some sources they are found only from 12-15m, but I observed them in a protected area on La Palma already in about 3m depth and also at around 40m. It seems normal to find them in deeper regions.
When diving in the Canaries you can actually observe them quite often.
As their name implies, their distribution is among the Macaronesian islands. This includes the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands and the Cape Verde Islands. In addition, they were already seen in the Gulf of Guinea.
The Bushy Encrusting Anemone lives in colonies. In order to support the construction of its skeleton, Antipathozoanthus macaronesicus takes the skeleton of the Black Coral as a base.