Wild Harris

Beadlet Anemone

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Beadlet anemone

This familiar bright red anemone is the commonest anemone found on the shore, appearing as a small blob of red jelly when the tide is out. When covered by water it extends its deadly tentacles and waits for something to blunder into them. The tentacles' stinging cells paralyse the victim which is then stuffed into its mouth which is located in the middle of the tentacle ring. Anemones are primitive animals closely related to corals, sea fans and jellyfish. They have no bottom - anything the animal can't digest comes back out the way it went in.

Link to -Why do anemones feel sticky?

actinia 2.jpgBeadlet Anemone-Actinia spp.    (Photo: Sue Scott)

Rings of stinging tentacles surround the central mouth of this beadlet anemone.

If you look carefully you may see a row of bright blue dots around the rim of the anemone, just below the tentacle crown. These are weapons that beadlet anemones use to fight each other as they jostle for space (extremely slow motion fighting!). White threads shoot out of these dots which irritate and annoy the adversary, causing it to move away. Many other anemone species can fire these white threads, often in response to an attack from a predator.

actinia blue spots.jpgBeadlet Anemone-Actinia spp.    (Photo: Paul Tyler)

These blue spots are used to fight other beadlet anemones!

Beadlet anemones produce tiny perfectly formed baby anemones which are expelled into the water and settle nearby.

Actinia with babies in rockpool.jpgBeadlet Anemone-Actinia spp.    (Photo: Paul Tyler)

This rockpool is full of baby beadlet anemones.

by Paul Tyler

Link to Rocky Shore Animals

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