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Phylum Cnidaria > Class Anthozoa > Subclass Zoantharia/Hexacorallia > Order Actiniaria
Magnificent anemone
Heteractis magnifica
Family Stichodactylidae
updated Feb 13
if you 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.
Don't poke the sea anemone to make fishes or shrimps come out. They will instead hide deeper in the anemone.

Where seen? This stunning, large anemone is well named. It is sometimes seen on our Southern shores, attached to large boulders of dead coral or other solid objects, usually in deeper waters. It is rarely buried in sand or sediments. Several of these anemones may be found next to one another. The anemone was previously known as Radianthus ritteri.

Features: Diameter when expanded 30-50cm, but can reach 1m. Body column uniformly coloured. Those seen were white, pink, maroon, purple. The body column has longitudinal rows of translucent verrucae of the same colour or slightly lighter or darker than the body column.

Long tentacles (5-8cm) densely cover the oral disk. The tentacles are finger-like and do not taper. The tips are blunt or slightly swollen. The lower part of the tentacles are usually the same colour as the oral disk. Tips may be yellow, green or white. It is said that the mouth area of 2-3cm in the centre of the oral disk is usually yellow, brown or green and the
mouth is often raised so it sits on a cone. But this has not been observed for those seen at low tide. The animal can tuck all its tentacles into its body column, forming a ball-shape with only tufts of tentacles sticking out in the centre.

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 'hairy' cnidarians.

Magnificent friends:
The Magnificent 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 among and unharmed by the tentacles of the Magnificent anemone. These include A
nemone shrimps like the Five-spot anemone shrimp (Periclimenes brevicarpalis) and fishes such as Dascyllus trimaculatus and anemonefishes including A. akallopisos, A. bicinctus, A. clarkii, A. nigripes, A. ocellaris (False clown anemonefish), A. percula, A. perideraion, A. xanthurus.

Status and threats: Magnificent anemones are not listed among the endangered animals of Singapore. However, 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.

The animal can tuck its tentacles
into its body.
Kusu Island, May 04

Long tentacles densely cover the oral disk.


Different shaped tentacles
Pulau Semakau, Apr 11


Terumbu Semakau, Jun 10
 

Five-spot anemone shrimp on the anemone.
Pulau Hantu, Apr 04

False clown anemonefish on the anemone.
Pulau Semakau, Aug 11


Pulau Hantu, Jan 10

Pulau Hantu, Feb 08

Terumbu Pempang Tengah, Apr 12

Magnificent anemones on Singapore shores

Photos for free download from wildsingapore flickr
Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

more photos of magnificent anemones on Singapore shores

Links
References
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