Anemones are some of the most colourful organism of the shore. Usually found within rockpools or crevices, anemones belong to the Anthozoa and posses stinging tentacles with which they trap and catch their prey. Out of water anemones look like bobs of jelly but when immersed their tentacles come out and they look quite different! Below is a guide to some of the common intertidal anemones of UK shores.
Beadlet anemone (Actina equina)
This is the most commonly encountered anemone on the shore and can be found on open rock, in crevices, beneath overhangs or in rockpools. It comes in a variety of colours and sizes.
Beadlet anemones on a harbour wall
Beadlet anemones look like blobs of jelly when out of water
They come in a variety of colours, including red, orange and green be carfeul as in some areas of the country green ones can represent a similar species!
When they are immersed in water, blue 'beads' can be seen encircling the column.
Strawberry anemone (Actinia fragacea)
The body of a strawberry anemone is spotty and looks a bit like a strawberry!
Snakelocks anemone (Anemonia viridis)
These anemones are usually encountered within rockpools and sometimes attached to seaweed. It can appear green or pinkish
Gem anemone (Aulactinia verrucosa)
This anemones is usually found in rockpools with sand and pebbles, which is occur amongst making it sometimes hard to spot!
The column has rows of white dots.
The Dahlia anemone is the largest anemone encountered on the shore and often found in rockpools beneath boulder over hangs.
When the Dahlia anemones withdraws its tentacles its column that is covered in sand and shell can be seen.