sea anemones text index | photo index
Phylum Cnidaria > Class Anthozoa > Order Actiniaria
Large sea anemones with long tentacles
How to tell them apart?

updated Aug 08

These large sea anemones (diameter 20cm or more) with long tentacles may look similar at first glance.
Here's more on how to tell them apart.



Snaky anemone
(Macrodactyla doreensis)
Family Actiniidae
Magnificent anemone
(Heteractis magnifica)
Family Stichodactylidae
Leathery anemone
(Heteractis crispa)
Family Stichodactylidae
Usually seen in coral rubble areas. Usually seen in living reefs among living hard corals. Usually seen in coral rubble areas and among living hard corals.
Oral disk has white stripes that may extend onto the tentacles. Oral disk lacks white stripes. Oral disk lacks white stripes.
Oral disk sparsely covered in tentacles. Oral disk densely covered in tentacles. Oral disk densely covered in tentacles.
Tentacle tips are tapered. Tentacle tips are rounded or swollen and bubble-like. Tentacle tips are tapered often with pink or colourful tips.
Large eye-shaped verrucae. Small verrucae in rows near the top of the body column. Large obvious bumpy verrucae in rows on a pale body column.

More comparisons


Haddon's carpet anemone
has short tentacles and is found in sand.

Merten's carpet anemone
has short tentacles and is found on reefs.

The bulb tip anemone
usually has bulbous tips.


Some leathery soft corals
may look like large sea anemones.
They have tiny polyps with tentacles.

This is a hard coral with
long-bodied polyps tipped with tentacles.

The Sunflower mushroom coral
is a hard coral with a hard skeleton.

how to tell apart
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