Beadlet Anemone

Beadlet Anemone

The beadlet anemone (Actinia equina) is a species of sea anemone which is very common throughout the whole of the UK and is also found throughout Europe and parts of Africa. They are usually a dark red in colour and can be a maximum of around 6cm across. This species is perfectly adapted to life in the intertidal zone. It attaches itself to rocks and stones and curls itself into a blob when the tide is out and it is exposed to the elements and can survive out of water for several days. However, once the tide comes in and the anemone is submerged it extends up to two hundred tentacles to catch passing prey. It will eat anything it can catch in its tentacles, but the most common source of food is isopods and small crustaceans which are common in the intertidal zone. Some of the tentacles contain a substance which paralyses the prey and allows the beadlet anemone to drawn the prey into its body and begin to digest it. There are a range of other species of anemone around the UK such as the snakelocks anemone (Anemonia sulcata), elegant anemone (Sagartia elegans) and the dahlia anemone (Urticina felina), which is also known as the northern red anemone.

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