Sea Anemone - Sagartia elegans Var. venusta
Sagartia elegans (Actiniaria - Sagartiidae) is a species of sea anemones found on shore in pools, under stones, caves and beneath overhangs, from the mid-tide level and below, and is also common in the sublittoral down to approximately 50 m.
There are 5 different varieties of the species recognized on the basis of the colouration of the disc and tentacles. In Sagartia elegans Var. venusta the disc is a plain orange and the tentacles are white.
The species is native to the British Isles and throughout western Europe, including the Mediterranean, however it was found at Hawthorne Cove Marina in Salem, Massachusetts, United States, in 2000, when it was particularly abundant and therefore is suspected to have been introduced some years prior. The introduced population of S. elegans was seasonally abundant, disappearing during the winter. Its seasonal abundance as well as its population failure during the winter, suggest that winter is particularly stressful for S. elegans.
Photo credit: ©Tony J. Gilbert | Locality: Isle of Man, Irish Sea (2012)