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Phylum Cnidaria > Class Anthozoa > Subclass Zoantharia/Hexacorallia > Order Actiniaria
Pizza anemone
Cryptodendrum adhaesivum
Family Thalassianthidae
updated Oct 2016
Where seen? This rather large sea anemone is seldom seen. Possibly simply because it just doesn't look like a sea anemone, and because it is usually well hidden in crevices or under large dead corals. Sometimes seen on our Southern shores.

Features: Diameter 25-30cm. The flat circular animal has a smooth rounded rim so it looks very much like a pizza! The tentacles on the oral disk are short, tiny and tightly packed. The tentacles are very sticky, hence another common name for it is Adhesive anemone.

The tentacles come in two forms as described by Dr Fautin, "those in center have a narrow stalk with five or more short branches at end (i.e. resembling a miniature glove); those near the edge simple elongate bulbs about 1 mm diameter; at extreme margin is a ring of tentacles like the central ones but with fewer branches. Tentacles of the two forms are usually different colours: observed combinations include yellow and pink, blue and gray, green and brown; occasionally tentacles of another colour occur in patches amid those of predominant colour."

The body column may be brightly coloured; those seen were purple or yellow. Generally smooth with tiny verrucae of the same colour or slightly darker.

Pizza friends: The Pizza anemone harbours symbiotic algae (called zooxanthellae) that photosynthesize. The algae share the food produced with the anemone, which in turn provides the algae with shelter and minerals.

Several kinds of animals may live happily and unharmed on the Pizza anemone. These include the Peacock-tail anemone shrimp (Periclimenes brevicarpalis). Elsewhere it is said that anemonefishes (Amphiprion sp.) live with these anemones such as Amphiprion bicinctus, A. clarkii and A. xanthurus. But none of these have so far been observed on the Pizza anemones we've seen on the intertidal during low tide.

Terumbu Semakau, Jun 12

Two different kinds of tentacles.

Tiny verrucae on body column.
Terumbu Semakau,
Jun 12
Photo shared by Russel Low on facebook.


Terumbu Raya, Mar 11

Terumbu Raya, Mar 09
Shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Sisters Island, Jul 04

Pizza anemones on Singapore shores

Photos of Pizza anemones for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map


Kusu Island, May 10

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr

St John's Island, Feb 11

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.

Pulau Hantu, Feb 08

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.


Sisters Island, Jan 11
Photo shared by James Koh on his blog.

Cyrene Reef, Jun 16
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.


Terumbu Hantu, Apr 12
Photo shared by Russel Low on facebook.

Terumbu Semakau, May 10
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.


Pulau Semakau North, Jul 15
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Pulau Semakau East, Jul 16
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.
 


Terumbu Bemban, Apr 11
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Terumbu Semakau, Jun 10
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.


Pulau Pawai, Dec 09

Shared by James Koh on his flickr.

With an anemone shrimp on it.


Pulau Hantu, Jun 09

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.

Pulau Senang, Aug 10

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his flickr.

Terumbu Berkas Besar, Jan 10

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his flickr.

Links

References
  • Daphne Gail Fautin, S. H. Tan and Ria Tan. 30 Dec 2009. Sea anemones (Cnidaria: Actiniaria) of Singapore: abundant and well-known shallow-water species. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement No. 22: 121-143.
  • Erhardt, Harry and Daniel Knop. 2005. Corals: Indo-Pacific Field Guide IKAN-Unterwasserachiv, Frankfurt. 305 pp.
  • Gosliner, Terrence M., David W. Behrens and Gary C. Williams. 1996. Coral Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific: Animal life from Africa to Hawaii exclusive of the vertebrates Sea Challengers. 314pp.
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