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.



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

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


Strawberry Anemone

Corynactis californica (Corallimorphidae) is a species of corallimorph cnidarian, native to the west coast of North America, ranging from Washington state to Baja California.

Corallimorphs are not true anemones. The most obvious difference is that their tentacles end in knobs (club-tipped tentacles), as are visible in the picture above. The tentacles are not fully retractile, and are usually white.  

Corallimorphs are also very similar to corals in some other characters, but lack the hard coral skeleton.  This species is often found in groups, with individuals up to 2 cm long or even more (photo) (average height and diameter is 1 cm).  May be colored red, crimson, pink, purple, pale blue, lavender, brown, orange, buff, or nearly white.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Valeriya Kholodkov

Locality: Pacific Northwest, North America

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Club Tipped Anemone - Corynactis californica

Although resembling an anemone, Corynactis californica (Corallimorpharia - Corallimorphidae), is not a true anemone but rather a Corallimorph, indicated by clubbed tentacles.

This colonial cnidarian attains up to 2 cm in diameter, and forms mats on shaded surfaces exposed to current at any depth. Their color is quite variable and there are several distinct color morphs. Corynactis californica is distributed in the North Pacific, from British Columbia, Canada, to Outer Baja California, Mexico.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Marta Rubio Texeira | Locality: San Francisco, California, US (2014)