Sea pansy

Sea pansy

Taxobox | name = Sea pansy | status =

image_width = 250px
image_caption =
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Cnidaria
classis = Anthozoa
subclassis = Alcyonaria
ordo = Pennatulacea
familia = Renillidae
genus =
species = "R. reniformis"
binomial = "Renilla reniformis"
binomial_authority =
synonyms =

The Sea pansy is quite frequently found washed ashore on northeast Florida beaches following northeasterly winds or rough surf conditions. It also can often be found living intertidally (in-situ) completely buried in the sand. Its predator is the striped sea slug, "Armina tigrina".

The Sea pansy is a collection of polyps with different forms and functions. A single, giant polyp up to two inches in diameter forms the anchoring stem (peduncle). This peduncle can be distended to better anchor the colony in the substrate. The pansy-like body bears many small, anemone-like feeding polyps. A cluster of tentacleless polyps form an outlet valve that releases water to deflate the colony. If the colony is on a sand bar at low tide, it usually deflates and becomes covered with a thin film of silty sand. Small white dots between the feeding polyps are polyps that act as pumps to expand the deflated colony. The feeding polyps secrete a sticky mucus to trap tiny organisms suspended in the water. The colony’s rigidity and purple color come from calcium carbonate spicules throughout the polyps tissues.

The sea pansy is strikingly bioluminescent when disturbed, due to Green Fluorescent Protein, a molecule that has become extremely important recently for modern biological science. [cite book|author=Edward Ruppert, Richard Fox |title=Seashore Animals of the Southeast |year=1988 |publisher=University of South Carolina Press]


[ Whitney laboratory for Marine Bioscience]

[ Bill Frank, Jacksonville, Florida]



[ Discussion of green fluorescent protein in the sea pansy]

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  • sea pansy —       any of certain colonial marine animals of the sea pen (q.v.) group (order Pennatulacea, phylum Cnidaria). Unlike true sea pens, sea pansies lie flat on the substratum. * * * …   Universalium

  • sea pansy — noun : a showy purple alcyonarian (genus Renilla) called also sea kidney …   Useful english dictionary

  • sea pen — any of several colonial coelenterates of the genus Pennatula and related genera, having the shape of a fleshy feather. [1755 65] * * * ▪ invertebrate       any of the 300 species of the order Pennatulacea, colonial invertebrate marine animals of… …   Universalium

  • sea kidney — noun : sea pansy …   Useful english dictionary

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  • renilla — rə̇ˈnilə noun Etymology: New Latin, from Latin renes kidneys + New Latin illa 1. capitalized : a genus (the type of the family Renillidae) comprising the sea pansies 2. s …   Useful english dictionary

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