This large anemone with snaky tentacles is sometimes seen on some
of our shores, on coral rubble and near seagrasses and reefs. Although
generally only exposed at the lowest tides, it is said that the anemone
is generally found no deeper than 5m.
Features: Diameter with tentacles
extended said to reach up to 50cm but those seen usually smaller about
20-30cm. Tentacles snaky, thick and long (about 10cm). Sometimes (not
always), the tentacles may be tightly coiled or curled especially
when the sea anemone is submerged. It is also called the Corkscrew
Tentacle sea anemone for this reason. To some (hungry) visitors, the
anemone reminds them of a bowl of udon noodles!
The tentacles are close to one another at the circumference of the
oral disk, and more sparsely distributed on the oral disk. Sometimes,
a broad expanse in the centre of the oral disk around the mouth has
no tentacles. There are white stripes radiating from the central mouth.
The stripes may extend onto the tentacles. Tentacles and oral disk
usually the same colour. Tentacles may be brown, green or purplish,
but tips may be darker or lighter. The oral disk is purplish-gray
to brown, sometimes with a greenish cast. The underside of the oral
disk is purplish with white eye-shaped non-adhesive verrucae that
extend onto the white body column.
Sometimes confused with other
large sea anemones and similar large cnidarians. Here's more on how
to tell apart large
sea anemones with long tentacles and large
Snaky friends: The
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 have been associated with snaky anemones
shrimps (Periclimenes sp.) and anemonefishes
(Amphiprion sp.) including A. biaculeatus, A. clarkii
(juvenile and adult), A. percula, A. perideraion, A. polymnus
(juvenile and adult). But these are rarely observed on the Snaky anemones
seen on the intertidal during low tide.
Human uses: Unfortunately, these
beautiful animals are harvested from the wild for the live aquarium
trade, although they are difficult to maintain in captivity.
Purple sea cucumbers at
the base of the anemone.
Beting Bronok, Aug 05
White stripes radiating from the centre.
White eyed-shaped verrucae.
and threats: This anemone is not listed among the
threatened animals of Singapore. However, like other animals
harvested for the live aquarium trade, most die before they
can reach the retailers. Without professional care, most die
soon after they are sold. Those that do survive are unlikely
to breed successfully. Over-collection can also affect local
in tight coils and curls.
Tuas, Apr 05
Cyrene Reef, Mar 07
Tentacles in tight curls.
Beting Bronok, Aug 05
Body column purplish on the upper portion
and white on the lower.
anemones on Singapore shores
Terumbu Semakau, May 10
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his