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Anemonia viridis

(Forskål, 1775)

Boris Dmitrović Anemonia viridis

Message posted on UWphotographers on 31 Jan 2013
Penny Martin

Andy Horton Is that a sea anemone? It is not as clear as the other pictures.

Penny Martin they are tiny anemonia viridis on eel grass .... there were several "couples" ..... I wondered if they were splitting by longitudinal fission ??

Bernard Picton They do split like that. I often wonder whether these ones on Zostera are really a different species as they seem to have no green colour (zooxanthellae) and stay small. Or perhaps if they get any bigger the Zostera blade (home) gets broken off or dragged to the seabed.

Penny Martin I would be really interested in this as there are lots of the tiny ones like this on the eel grass in one specific bay .... they seem to frequently retract their tentacles .... and I have seen no large ones anywhere around Orkney as yet

Bernard Picton It might make a neat little DNA project. I've seen the small ones on Zostera in Ireland, Mulroy Bay for example. Interesting that you don't seem to have the big green form there at all?

Penny Martin Too cold ??? how far north are they found?? maybe I have just not seen them yet !!

Andy Horton These two sea anemones are having a fight. Anemonia viridis and Actinia equina.

Andy Horton Actinia equina displays aggressive behaviour towards neighbouring individuals. This aggressive behaviour is stimulated when the tentacles of adjacent anemones come into contact. The aggressor stings the victim with nematocysts, in the acrorhagi, which leads to the victim either crawling away or dropping off the substratum. The strawberry anemone, Actinia fragacea, is more plump than Actinia equina and is red to reddish brown in colour with greenish spots (Manuel, 1988). http://www.marlin.ac.uk/speciesinformation.php?speciesID=2359

Andy Horton Note the first use of scientific names in this case. However, in these two species the name Snakelocks and Beadlet are commonly used (English language). The pronunciation of the species name for Actinia varies.

Bernard Picton Gosse's names are OK, but inventing new ones isn't a good idea in my opinion. Ask any European if they've seen any glaucous pimplets recently and you'll get a blank look. QED.

Andy Horton The trend would seem more likely the removal of unsuitable common names. They cause more problems than scientific names.

Message posted on NE Atlantic Cnidaria on 06 Feb 2012
Andy Horton 19 May 2011 A large plain green specimen of the Beadlet Anemone, Actinia equina, collected on Worthing Beach on 18 April 2011 suddenly diminished in a manner seen before in the Actinia sea anemones. The green specimen with a basal diameter of approximately 60 mm and a larger tentacle span shrivelled up into a smaller version that looked as though it might be dying, and the tentacles became thinner than those of the Snakelocks Anemones, Anemonia viridis, and the oral disc disappeared from view covered by the partially retracted tentacles. On 20 May 2011, I noted that sea anemone had returned to its normal appearance. On 21 May 2011 I noticed that its column was covered in spots which were pronounced enough to be nearer in appearance to the designated species Actinia fragacea. Its spots were distinct light green but the background colour of the column became brown rather than red. It was slightly smaller with a basal diameter of about 50 mm. Intermediate forms or Actinia equina with green lines and spots are known to occur occasionally. This anemone has green tentacles whereas the usual "strawberry type" has crimson or red tentacles. http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Beadlet.htm

Andy Horton http://www.habitas.org.uk/marinelife/species.asp?item=d11510 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beadlet_anemone

Bernard Picton Thanks Andy, but I wasn't wanting reposting except in response to someone else's query. We've got this one secret so far so we'll need to set a good example.

Bernard Picton cross-posting I mean I suppose.

Bernard Picton Good start though, think of other people who are quite knowledgeable on Cnidaria and add them.

Andy Horton I have not posted this anywhere else and there is no link to this group from anywhere else. I will leave it up to you to advertise the group. But if you do not advertise it, somebody else will set up a group sooner or later. Facebook isn't very precious. I am not sure facebook is best for serious specialist groups. Yahoo Groups might be better? Spam can be an occasional nuisance for administrators. I have not found it to be the case.

Bernard Picton I don't want to generate work, just provide a resource. I'll make the group into closed status as soon as there is something to look at. I made the mistake of starting Seasearch Tunicates as a closed group and had people clamouring to get on while there was nothing yet there.

Message posted on NE Atlantic Cnidaria on 06 Feb 2012
Andy Horton 4 June 2012 A rockpooling visit to Worthing Pier on a low (0.4 metres) spring tide produced a surprise Brittlestar as well as some infrequent summer occurences like two large Velvet Swimming Crabs, Necora puber, a handful of small Common Hermit Crabs, Pagurus bernhardus, in winkle shells, a single Common Starfish Asterias rubens, one Dahlia Anemone, Urticina felina, one small Long-legged Spider Crab Macropodia rostrata, and one sub-adult 5-Bearded Rockling, Ciliata mustela. A Greater Pipefish, Syngnathus acus, was rescued from the beak of a Herring Gull. Daisy Anemones, Cereus pedunculatus, were frequently found in chocolate brown hues. Snakelocks Anemones, Anemonia viridis, were common as usual with frequent Beadlet Anemones Actinia equina. Full Rockpooling Report http://www.glaucus.org.uk/LancingBeach2008.htm#4June (This came out like a list: I must be a bit tired.)

David Hill David Hill Andy - went on a Bioblitz on Saturday at Cemlyn Bay (north coast of Anglesey) and today rockpooling at Llanddulas (north Wales coast) - lots of interesting new finds (for me anyway, fairly new to marine life). Cemlyn included Eel, 5-Bearded Rockling, Butterfish, Lobster and Great Scallop - a few pics here www.flickr.com/photos/natureseye/sets/72157630042354134/ and list of species here http://www.cofnod.org.uk/BioBlitz?ID=6 At Llanddullas this afternoon lots of Sea Gooseberries and a few Pipefish, pics to follow.

Andy Horton The Greater Pipefish did not look injured when collected, but I do not think it will survive. The gulls catch these pipefish occasionally and drop them in gardens.

Joe Bater that would have been a great UW macro photography day!

Andy Horton Not so good on the photography front. Pier causes shadows and low light. Capture and return. I hope to get a few shots later. I was terrestrial and the critters were under rocks. More though. The young rockpoolers (8 yo) are well informed now.

David Hill http://www.flickr.com/photos/natureseye/7340913120/

Andy Horton Hello, MARINE LIFE NEWS BULLETIN TORPEDO (November 2010) Issue 170 ISSN 1464-8156 For technical reasons, TORPEDO is no longer being sent out by EMail. It is simply easier to view the bulletins on the web pages. Please find a copy of the bulletin at: http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Torpedo2010Nov.htm includes News Reports Ray's Bream reports Other strandline reports Features on Snakelocks Anemone, Anemonia viridis and Anemone Shrimp, Periclimenes sagittifer, wth a photograph by Linda Pitkin Skrinkle Haven, near Manorbier, Pembrokeshire, SW Wales MARINE LIFE NEWS BULLETIN TORPEDO INDEX http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Torpedo2.htm Cheers Andy Horton. bmlss@glaucus.org.uk ><< ( ( ( ' > British Marine Life Study Society (formed 6 June 1990) http://www.glaucus.org.uk/ ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Marine Wildlife of the North-east Atlantic Ocean Yahoo Group New Group: http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/Glaucus New Image Uploading Service: http://www.flickr.com/groups/glaucus/ Marine Fish Gallery (NE Atlantic) http://www.flickr.com/photos/shoreham/galleries/72157622350060767 ><< ( ( ( ' >

Jeremy Pierce A real spongy Inachus dorsettensis??? Eastern Kings, Devonport on Friday morning at about 8m.

Wendy Northway love the little sponge spider crabs!

Claire Goodwin Rohan Holt (i think?! somone anayway) always says I. dorsettensis tends to hold out its arms 'welcome to dorset'. I've not checked though! As Dawn says you'd need to look at the head and back tubercules to be sure.

Bernard Picton This is more likely to be Inachus phalangium in my opinion. It is more typical of rocky habitats whilst I. dorsettensis prefers quieter, muddier places. There are a couple of other species, so it is worth checking up on the distinguishing characters.

George Brown Marlin says I. phalangium is often associated with Anemonia viridis. I've found this in some but not all areas where I've found A. viridis. Did you see this anemone during your dive Jeremy?

Bernard Picton often, but not always, or even frequently in my experience...

Jeremy Pierce Yes George Brown, they are quite abundant along the cables on the sea bed at this site(A. viridis that is), that is once you come up off the reef 'wall' to about 8m and most of all the way back to the shore.

George Brown Bernard, exactly.

Message posted on Seasearch Identifications on 21 Apr 2013
Erling Svensen Do anybody know why this Sagarthia elegans anemone have a couple of very long arms? The anemone is only 1,5 cm across the disk.

Andy Horton The tentacles enlarge and subject of my talks at the Coelenterate Society and probably Porcupine Society talk way back in the past (20th century). It was on Sagartia troglodytes.

Andy Horton Feeding As many as five large 'catch tentacles' seem to be enlarged versions of existing tentacles, and these can be best observed in aquaria. They are usually translucent. In the wild, this anemone is known to eat shrimps and small crabs that are 75% of the bulk of the anemone, and these tentacles would be necessary to manoeuvre the prey to the mouth. They will actively search the surrounding water for prey of mostly small crustaceans. Catch tentacles are controversial in a number of ways: 1) They are recorded as not existing in preserved specimens in species like the Plumose, Metridium senile, in which they are actually quite common. This is because they are not separate tentacles. http://www.glaucus.org.uk/S-troglo2.htm Pictures are still on the old slides and have not been copied.

Erling Svensen Thanks Andy. Very informable and I did not know. Very nice to observe and learn new things.

Andy Horton These are my anecdotal observations and conclusions from the evidence. In 1993 it was new.

Ron Ates Nice picture. These elongated tentacles have been seen on several more species of acontiarian sea anemones. In S. elegans since at least 1860 or so. They are called fighting tentacles (previously catch tentacles) for their ability to damage neighbouring sea anemones and other animals.

Andy Horton I tested the this "fighting bit" in both Sagartia troglodytes and M. senile by putting the sea anemones next to each other. The tentacles did not enlarge. I put live food in the water and tentacles cames out to try and catch the food. In Actinia equina the acrorhagi seem to be used for fighting, or possible the tentacles do the opposite and retract when they bump into each other. Best results occur when Actinia is matched up against an Anemonia Snakelocks. I repeated the feeding experiment about a hundred times. The catch tentacles did not always appear but they did at least a dozen times out of a hundred, possible more. In eh Beadlet, Actinia the tentacles retract most readily but also in M. senile and the A viridis as well.

Ron Ates Hi Andy,

Ron Ates Hi Andy,

Ron Ates Hi Andy, you raise interesting points, let's compare notes. I am new to this facebookstuff, sorry for that. Things may go wrong as I must learn. I agree that the evidence can be tricky. For instance Diadumene cincta, which is very common in the Netherlands shows fighting tentacles all the time. Yet I have never seen aggressive interactions with other anemones. However, Manuel (1981:122) witnessed it in a fight with Anemonia viridis (your snakelocks) and the latter was killed. So I conclude that elongated tentacles may kill competitors. Another thing that seems to be clear from the literature is that food never adheres to these elongated tentacles. Would you like me to send you pdf's of what I have on this subject?

George Brown Welcome to facebook Ron. Your pdf's sound interesting.

Andy Horton Yes please. There is a files section that *.pdf files can be uploaded to. I don't think I have seen Sagartia actually eat at all. I have seen them spit out tiny Shore Crabs. More later.

Ron Ates Please see Purcell (1977) for an account of fighting tentacle behaviour in the plumose anemone Metridium senile. Food does not adhere to them. They are used in aggression. As far as Sagartia elegans is concerned I have seen it damage and chase away snakelock anemones in my aquarium. Admittedly, in other species the function of elongated tentacles is not always as clear. I will now try to upload part of Purcell (1977), keep your fingers crossed.

Andy Horton The main function of my observations was that they were elongated tentacles rather than separate tentacles.Then there was how to induce the sea anemones to eat which was achieved by introducing food to the water &/or fresh sea water and it was then that the tentacles were observed. When tentacles of other sea anemones meet each other I observed retraction more often than not.

Message posted on NE Atlantic Cnidaria on 24 Sep 2013
David Fenwick Snr The stalked jellyfish Craterolophus convolvulus and Lucernariopsis campanulata are now turning up, in low numbers, at a number of sites around the Mounts Bay and Penwith region of Cornwall. Image below Craterlophus convolvulus. Most common host so far is Sargassum.

David Fenwick Snr I should have added, turning up intertidally, lowershore and middleshore rockpools.

Bernard Picton The Sargassum in Strangford Lough has some nice hydroids on it, perhaps these invasive aliens just increase the biodiversity by providing more niches....

David Fenwick Snr Sargassum is one of the main algae species I check for stalked jellyfish I've found 4 species on it now, although I've never found stalked jellyfish on it where it forms thick mats, but the peripheries are good places to search as are the old stumps left behind after the autumn gales. Intertidally, I seem to find most well away from larger algal species, especially those that occur around pool fringes. e.g. Fucus serratus; and many are found on algae where pools narrow and drain into one another. I find the same on the intertidal eelgrass bed I search, sparcer areas and areas where water drains, either salt or fresh are good to search. Of course stalked jellyfish are probably more easy to find in such sparce areas as well, but of course there's more water movement around such areas and thus they will be good areas to feed if you're a species 'relatively' fixed in one position. Local currents may of course be responsible for the distribution of early life stages. I can certainly see a pattern emerging round here with them.

Andy Horton I have received at least two (probably more) reports of people swimming through Sargassum and receiving a bright red scar (like jellyifsh weals) which could last for six months. Could he hydroids cause this? Or rather are their own experiences of this put down to this cause. The reported evidence of wounds like this have been caused by the Snakelocks Anemone, Anemonia viridis. There have been many attributed to the latter.

David Fenwick Snr I'm handling stalked all the time and it's not them. On looking through Sargassum I often find quite a number of juvenile snakelocks, especially near the base. Never seen much else on it on the shore but I guess jellyfish could become trapped amongst it during the summer when people are swimming. It's tending to die back down and sinking around here at the moment.

Message posted on NE Atlantic Cnidaria on 04 Sep 2012
David Fenwick Snr Does anyone know why WoRMS are listing both Anemonia sulcata (Pennant, 1777) and Anemonia viridis (Forskål, 1775) as accepted?

Allen Collins Good question. Both are listed as valid in the Hexacorallia database: http://hercules.kgs.ku.edu/Hexacoral/Anemone2/genus_search_valid.cfm?genus=Anemonia

Allen Collins But the synonymy for A. viridis seems to include A. sulcata in the same source. Daphne Fautin would answer your question.

David Fenwick Snr EOL and HABITAS would seem to confirm that both species are now independant of each other. I know it's reported on Marlin, Howson & Picton (1997), that the brown form might be a distinct species, but I cannot find any confirmation of this or any information confirming the separation and how they must now be separated from each other.

Marco Faasse The brown variety has been called Anemonia rustica, but I don't know if it has been formally described. Williams (1992) Pedal disc detachment (...) colour varieties. - Scientia Marina 56(4): 337-346 refers to German publications which I don't have. WoRMS considers A. rustica a nomen dubium.

David Fenwick Snr Have just found that there are records for both species on the UK NBN database so it appears both are accepted from the UK. One piece I have found states - ''There is some evidence that in the Mediterranean and in the Atlantic outside the British area, the brown form of Anemonia may be a distinct species (e.g. Bulnheim & Sauer, 1984; Williams, 1992) but this is yet to be confirmed''. So this would potentially exclude records of A. sulcata from the UK. VERY PUZZLING.

David Fenwick Snr If what I gather is correct, an image I have taken at the National Marine Aquarium possibly shows A. sulcata centre; and A. viridis to the right of it. http://www.aphotomarine.com/images/sea_anemones/snakelock_anemone_anemonia_viridis_17-04-09.jpg

David Fenwick Snr All this has come about on looking at Victorian common names for UK species, Anemonia sulcata appears in a text and is reffered to as the Opelet.

Bernard Picton I kept both those names as someone told me they had evidence that there were two species, but I don't think anything definitive has been published. The Hexacorallia database and WoRMS (a derivative) list several names as valid which I think are synonyms. Actinothoe anguicoma and Sagartiogeton undatus are synonyms according to Manuel's Linn. Soc. Synopsis.

David Fenwick Snr Thanks Bernard, what troubles me is that I 'roughly' annually check WoRMS for changes in status. I'm sure that the last time I checked A. sulcatus was included as a synonym as I would have raised the issue before now, quite strange what has happened but of course wouldn't be the first time; until recently Spirorbis were largely unsorted and presented in a similar manner. On Sagartiogeton, Sagartiogeton viduatus was strangly mentioned in the book I was reading over and above any other species. Perhaps it was more common over 100 years ago or maybe it has been grossly overlooked in the UK; reported in the book as only opening at night. Ref: Edward Step; By the Deep Sea. A Popular Introduction to the Wild Life of the British Shores. 1896. Quite a good rockpooling read. Book freely available online as a PDF file.

Bernard Picton I think there was quite a bit of confusion over the Sagartiogeton species. S. viduatus is quite common in Zostera beds in Norway, it is quite small. I've never seen it in the UK or Ireland. http://unreality.se/pictures/2752

David Fenwick Snr I think if it was around here on eelgrass I'd have seen it. Found some other pics from Norway last night.

Marco Faasse If there really are two or more European Anemonia species it seems possible that the holotype of A. sulcata belongs to one of them and the holotype of A. viridis to another. In that situation it would be unwise to synonymise the two before being sure how many, and which, Anemone (not anemone) species we have.

David Fenwick Snr So nomen limbus, a reservation? Agree unwise to synonymise. Hopefully the situation will get sorted.

David Fenwick Snr Daphne Fautin has very kindly contributed via Wim at WoRMS - Opinions have been divided on whether these are separate species; some opinions are that they are separate subspecies. The source of the WoRMS information provides full information about who has considered them separate and who has considered them synonyms. Until there is a single source that demonstrates they are a single species, and accounts for the differences in opinion, they will remain as separate lists in Hexacorallians of the World.

Bernard Picton That makes good sense. I always cite Palio nothus and Palio dubia. These were (wrongly) synonymised for a period so there are a lot of records which cannot now be attributed to the correct species.

Message posted on NE Atlantic Cnidaria on 04 Dec 2012
O Gajo Dos Olivais This picture shows a Flabellina babai, right after being released from an Anemonia viridis tentacles. Notice the damaged Cerata. Sesimbra, "Baia dos Porcos" spot, 8 meters deep, 2013-10-13 13:44, Lisbon time

Mandy Knott Not a diving survey but in our area all the same - thanks to Nik from Cumbria Wildlife Trust. Not heard it called the 'snakelocks' before - a common name more usually associated with Anemonia viridis - but an exciting discovery

Mandy Knott Well spotted - hopefully it will come up ok now...http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-17129761

Derek Nadin We so need to get out into Liverpool Bay!

Wendy Northway bit of a confusing write up but exciting find none the less!

Message posted on Seasearch Northwest England on 25 Feb 2012
Becky Hitchin I'm presuming that this is what a snakelocks looks like when very young?

Andy Horton Nope, this is not Anemonia viridis. Where was this discovered? Initially it looks like Anthopleura ballii. Not sure though.

Becky Hitchin I sort of didn't think it was, but there were a few like this and then some small Anemonia right next to them so I kind of assumed that Amenonia had to start somewhere (or at least convinced myself that it must do!). These were at Portreath, North Cornwall.

Andy Horton http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Pimplet.htm

Andy Rapson I don't think its a snakelocks but try searching for Aiptasia mutabilis and see if you think that is more of a match.

Becky Hitchin One day I'll believe myself when I see something new (to me) rather than try and shoehorn it into wrong places. They were amazing little things. Let me put another pic up :)

Andy Horton Andy Rapson: good call, might be. http://www.habitas.org.uk/marinelife/species.asp?item=D12030

Andy Horton http://www.glaucus.org.uk/pimple~1.htm These two are easily confused unless they can be seen from other angles. I would like to see another photograph. I am beginning to doubt my original identifications now. I am OK with the ones I have seen myself.

Becky Hitchin I'd say Aiptasia looks more like it, but I don't think the tentacles taper to points (see other photos)

Andy Horton http://www.habitas.org.uk/marinelife/species.asp?item=D11790

Keith Hiscock Aiptasia mutabilis seems most likely to me.

Becky Hitchin OK, I think consensus is Aiptasia mutabilis :)

Animalia (Kingdom)
  Cnidaria (Phylum)
    Anthozoa (Class)
      Hexacorallia (Subclass)
        Actiniaria (Order)
          Nyantheae (Suborder)
            Thenaria (Infraorder)
              Endomyaria (Superfamily)
                Actiniidae (Family)
                  Anemonia (Genus)
                    Anemonia viridis (Species)
Associated Species