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Nematostella vectensis
Image courtesy of Image courtesy of David Knott, Southeastern Regional Taxonomic Center, South Carolina
Nematostella vectensis
Taxonomic Group: Cnidarians-Anthozoans


Nematostella vectensis is commonly known as the Starlet Sea anemone. It was first described from the Isle of Wight, England, but recent genetic evidence suggests that it is native to the east coast of North America. It has been introduced to England and the west coast of North America from Washington to California.  Unlike other anemones, this species does not attach to a substrate. It commonly lives buried in the sediment, with its oral disk and tentacles protruding. It is typically found in salt marshes, lagoons, and mudflats. Few economic and ecological impacts have been reported for this species. Some authors have suggested that N. vectensis could be a significant predator of oyster larvae in estuaries, but this has not been studied further.

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Fofonoff PW, Ruiz GM, Steves B, Simkanin C, & Carlton JT (2018)
National Exotic Marine and Estuarine Species Information System.
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Marine Invasions Lab
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

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