Beadlet Anemone – Actinia equina

The Beadlet Anemone belongs to the order of the sea anemones and is therefore part of the class of the Anthozoa.

Description

Actinia equina has a dark orange to dark red colour. Although it is mostly red, there may be colour variations. There is also indications that the colour variations are independent species.

It is circular. Their 192 tentacles are arranged in six circles around the mouth disc.

Actinia equina reaches a diameter of up to 5cm and its tentacles are up to 2cm long.

Habitat and Distribution

The Beadlet Anemone lives on a solid ground, in depths down to 20m. Usually, however, they are found in the tide zone, that is, near the coast. The photo at the top of the page was taken in a tide pool on La Gomera.

When diving in the Canaries it is rather rare to observe.

In addition, its distribution area extends from the Arctic, across the British Isles, the North Sea and the Mediterranean, along the African coast, almost to the equator.

Biology

Actinia equina is one of the anemones that has the ability to move. If it does not like a location, it can simply change it.

It can cope with various environmental conditions. Through the life in tide pools, it is often exposed to strong temperature fluctuations and a different salinity. The Beadlet Anemone also survives temporarily outside the water. Then she withdraws and there is only one blop to be seen.

Their diet consists of crustaceans, mussels, snails and plankton.

Reproduction

Actinia equina is able to reproduce both sexually and asexually.

Once the eggs are fertilized, they are hatched. The Beadlet Anemone is the only anemone that is known to hatch its eggs. After a brief planktonic phase, they are looking for a location to stay.