Anthopleura elegantissima, Aggregating Anemone | ©Marlin Harms (North Point, Morro Strand State Beach, Morro Bay, California, US)

This colonial anemone with tentacles greenish to pinkish, can be found on rocky, tide swept shores along the Pacific coast of North America.

An interesting fact of these anemones, recently studied, is that High-intertidal individuals are exposed aerially up to 18 h each day, unlike low-intertidal individuals which may be continuously immersed over many days [read more].

Animalia - Cnidaria - Anthozoa - Hexacorallia - Actiniaria - Actiniidae - Anthopleura - A. elegantissima

“Giant Green Anemone” (Anthopleura xanthogrammica)

Also known as the Green Surf Anemone, Green Anemone, Solitary Anemone, Rough Anemone, and the Giant Tidepool Anemone, Anthopleura xanthogrammica is a species of Actiniid sea anemone that inhabits low to mid intertidal zones in the Pacific Ocean, ranging from Alaska to Southern California and rarely down to Panama. Like other sea anemones A. xanthogrammica sports several nemoatocyst lined tentacles which are used to paralyze and capture prey that wanders too close. Phoyosynthetic algae of the genus Zoochlorella and dinoflagellates of the genus Symbiodinium live in the tissue and gut of A. xanthogrammica, in this symbiotic relationship they will provide nutrients to the anemone via photosynthesis (partly giving the anemone its green coloration) and in turn they get a safe place to reside. 


Animalia-Cnidaria-Anthozoa-Hexacorallia-Actinaria-Nyantheae-Thenaria-Actiniidae-Anthopleura-A. xanthogrammica

Image: Stan Shebs

Corynactis viridis | ©João Pedro Silva   (Setubal, Portugal)

The jewel anemone is so-called because of its spectacular coloration. Individuals may be bright green, orange, red, pink or white and the tentacles and their tips are typically contrasting colours. The body of this anemone, correctly known as the ‘column’, is smooth, and has a rather squat appearance. Up to 100 tentacles, each terminating in a small swelling, are arranged in three rings around the mouth, which is situated at the top of a small cone. 

Sexual reproduction can lead to new color combinations of the tentacles and the oral disk. When anemones settle and grow in an area where they have good conditions (nutrient availability and available space) they can also reproduce asexually and create large patches of similar colored individuals.

Jewel anemones are frequent on south and west coasts as far north as northern Scotland; also occurs around southwest Europe and in the Mediterranean.

Animalia - Cnidaria - Anthozoa - Hexacorallia - Corallimorpharia - Corallimorphidae - Corynactis - C. viridis




The cracks and crevices of coral reefs of the Japanese island of Okinawa and the island of New Caledonia in the South Pacific, have proven to be the habitat of two new species of anemones from the genus Palythoa, which have just been discovered.
And surprisingly, unlike almost all known species within the genus Palythoa, these two new species do not have light-harvesting symbiotic zooxanthellae, having lost them as they adapted to life in cracks and caves in shallow coral reefs. Zooxanthellae are symbiotic, photosynthetic, single-celled algae that can provide host species with energy from the sun.

Like a flower | ©Henrique Nascimento

An amazing photo of the colorful Jewel anemone, Corynactis viridis (Corallimorpharia - Corallimorphidae).

Although the meaning of its latin name (viridis) is green, the colour of the specimens is very variable, green, orange, red, etc.

Corynactis viridis is type species of the genus Corynactis, a colonial anthozoan similar in appearance to sea anemones and in body format to scleractinian stony corals, but belonging to the order Corallimorpharia (not to order Actiniaria). It occurs in Mediterranean Sea and around west Europe.



“Flower Pot Coral” (Genus: Goniopora)

Goniopora is a genus of colonial stony coral which occurs in lagoons and areas with turbid water conditions throughout the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and various tropical and subtropical areas of the Pacific Ocean. Like other colonial stony corals Goniopora spp. are carnivorous and will feed on passing invertebrates and organic matter which are caught by their stinging nematocysts. 



Images: Peter Young Gho, MD and Gdiggers


Anemone - Bolocera tuediae | ©Tony J. Gilbert

Bolocera tuediae is large sea anemone that can grow up to 300mm across tentacles. This large and distinctive anemone is capable of shedding its tentacles, pinching them off by muscular action, hence the groove at their bases. The reason for this is unknown.

Generally distributed throughout the north Atlantic, north to the Arctic Circle and east to north America, this species is recorded from all coasts of Britain but rare in south. 

The specimen shown is 25 cm in diameter. It was photographed in St.Abbs, Eyemouth, Scotland, UK. 

Cnidaria - Anthozoa - Actiniaria - Actiniidae - Bolocera - B. tuediae

More information.


Beadlet Anemone (Actinia equina)

…a species of sea anemone that can be found on the rocky coasts of the United Kingdom, Western Europe and the Mediterranean. This anemone is highly adapted to its environment and can thrive in high temperatures and dryness, some have even been found in areas with low salt. They also possess a ring of blue tentacles called acrorhagi which are used to fight off other anemones that attempt to invade their space.



Image Source(s)


Corynactis annulata

…is a species of Corallimorpharian cnidarian which is sometimes known as a “Strawberry anemone” despite the fact that is a Corallimorpharian and not a true sea anemone. Corynactis annulata occurs around the southern African coast, ranging from Port Nolloth to Mossel Bay, where it inhabits the intertidal zone. C. annulata is a colonial organism which occurs in clusters and sheets on rocky reefs where it feeds on small planktonic organisms. 


Animalia-Cnidaria-Anthozoa-Hexacorallia-Corallimorpharia-Corallimorphidae-Corynactis-C. annulata

Image(s): Seascapeza


Pom-pom Anemone (Liponema brevicornis)

Also known as the tentacle shedding anemone, the pom-pom anemone is a species of sea anemone found in deep water in the north east Pacific. Like other anemones the pom-pom anemone is a carnivore and will attempt to eat any small animals unfortunate enough to swim into its tentacles. Pom-pom anemones are also fed on by sea spiders who steal tentacles from it. Although it usually lives a sessile lifestyle, the pom-pom anemone does not attach its self to a substrate and it can roll itself up like a rug and drift with the current like a tumbleweed, stopping when it reaches a solid object. 



Image Source(s)


Gorgonian Wrapper (Nemanthus annamensis)

Also known as the Zebra-striped Gorgonian Wrapper as an reference to its coloration, the Gorgonain Wrapper is a species of colonial sea anemone found throughout the Indo-Pacific. This cnidarian is commonly found in strings of individual polyps all of which with individual tentacles.



Image source(s)


Merten’s Carpet Sea Anemone (Stichodactyla mertensii)

is a large species of sea anemone found in warm coral filled oceans. Like other carpet anemones this species has a large surface area, with a large ovoid oral disc that covers the surrounding area (like a carpet draped over the rocks and corals). This species has several species of anemonefish that associate with it, with 17 distinct species and one species of damselfish.



Image Sources: 1,2

Epiactis thompsoni

This striking anemone known by the scientific name of Epiactis thompsoni (Actiniaria - Actiniidae), lives in shallow waters of southern Australia and New Zealand.

Although the color pattern varies, they usually are red and pink. The column is smooth with vertical stripes of cream and red, and have about 40-60 short tentacles.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Saspotato | Locality: Portsea Pier, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


Strawberry Corallimorpharian (Corynactis californica)

Although C. californica looks similar to a sea anemone it is a species of corallimorpharian, an order of cnidarians related to stony corals. Strawberry corallimorpharians occurs throughout the eastern Pacific. They typically inhabit shallow water and will feed on small invertebrates which are dispatched via stinging nematocysts. 


Animalia-Cnidaria-Anthozoa-Hexacorallia-Corallimorpharia-Corallimorphidae-Corynactis-C. californica

Images: Brocken Inaglory and Stan Shebs