learn only 3 things about them ...
They are found among the coral rubble. Don't step on them!
Don't remove any fishes or shrimps that live in the sea
anemone. They will die and the anemone will also suffer.
poke the sea anemone to make fishes or shrimps come out.
They will instead hide deeper in the anemone.
This enormous colourful carpet anemone with short skinny tentacles
is commonly seen on our Southern shores, usually on hard surfaces
such as coral rubble, near reefs. It is also sometimes seen on coral
rubble on our Northern shores.
Features: Those seen about 40-50cm
in diameter when exposed out of water. The oral disk expands when
submerged. The large oral disk covered with short tentacles so that
it resembles a shaggy carpet. The oral disk is often folded and rarely
held flat against the surface, unlike Merten's
carpet anemone (Stichodactyla mertensii). The long body
column is usually buried or inserted into a crevice and ends in a
pedal disk that anchors the animal.
Body column is sometimes colourful (bright pink, orange, yellow).
Bumps (verrucae) appear as rows of spots, generally in bright colours
(pink, purple). They are non-adhesive and found on the upper part
of the body column.
Tentacles short (about 1cm), narrow and uniform in length. Usually
brown or purplish with lighter coloured tips. The tentacles are not
very tightly packed and when submerged, are usually in constant motion.
The tentacles are very sticky and may stick to a finger and break
off. It does not have a fringe of long-short tentacles at the edge
of the oral disk like Haddon's
carpet anemone (Stichodactyla haddoni).
Sometimes confused with other
large sea anemones and similar large cnidarians. Here's more on how
to tell apart the different kinds of carpet
anemones and large
sea anemones with long tentacles and large
Carpet food: Carpet anemones
harbour symbiotic single-celled algae (called zooxanthellae). The
algae undergo photosynthesis to produce food from sunlight. The food
produced is shared with the sea anemone, which in return provides
the algae with shelter and minerals. The zooxanthellae are believed
to give tentacles their brown or greenish tinge. Carpet anemones may
also feed on fine particles that are trapped on their bodies. These
anemones have not been observed to eat large animals.
Giant friends: Besides the symbiotic
algae that lives inside the their tentacles several kinds of animals
have been associated with giant carpet anemones. These include anemone
shrimps (Periclimenes sp.), and fishes such as Dascyllus
trimaculatus and anemonefishes
(Amphiprion sp.) including A. akindynos, A. bicinctus, A.
clarkii, A. ocellaris, A. percula, A. perideraion, A. polymnus.
But so far, the only animals observed on giant carpet anemones were:
anemone shrimps (Periclimines brevicarpalis) and the False
clown anemonefish (Amphiprion ocellaris).
Stinging carpet! Like other
sea anemones, the Carpet anemone has stingers in its tentacles. Generally,
these stings do not hurt human beings, but they can leave welts on
Carpet babies: There is not much
information on how Carpet anemones reproduce.
Human uses: Unfortunately, these
beautiful anemones are harvested for the live aqurium trade.
Status and threats: Carpet anemones
are 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. Like other creatures of the intertidal zone, they
are affected by human activities such as reclamation and pollution.
Trampling by careless visitors, and over-collection also have an impact
on local populations.
Pulau Hantu, Jul 07
Rows of colourful verrucae on
upper portion of the underside.
Tentacles not tightly packed.
Tentacles may stick to finger and break off.
Terumbu Semakau, Nov 12
and small False
in a Giant carpet anemone.
Pulau Hantu, Jul 07
Island, Jun 07
carpet anemones on Singapore shores
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.
Berlayar Creek, Oct 15
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.
Labrador, Aug 17
Photo shared by Jonathan Tan on facebook.
Terumbu Buran, Nov 10
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his
Jan 10 |
Jan 10 |
shared by James Koh on his
May 10 |
Dec 09 |
- 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.
- Chou, L.
M., 1998. A Guide to the Coral Reef life of Singapore.
Singapore Science Centre. 128 pages
Harry and Daniel Knop. 2005. Corals:
Indo-Pacific Field Guide
IKAN-Unterwasserachiv, Frankfurt. 305 pp.
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.