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Marine Life  Snakelocks Anemone

Snakelocks Anemone - Photo  Copyright 2007 Sophia Winters
Photo: Sophia Winters

UK Safari Tip:
Need help identifying marine life? Try this beautifully illustrated fold out ID chart - click here

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Latin name: Anemonia viridis

Size: Column up to 5cm in diameter and the tentacles up to 7cm in length.

Found around the southern and western shores of the UK.

Months seen: All year round.

Habitat: Generally found on the sea bed, but sometimes in rock pools provided they remain underwater. They prefer well lit locations.

Food: Small fish and organisms in the water which become trapped on the sticky tentacles.

Special features: The tentacles of the snakelocks anemone really do look like a writhing mass of snakes. Unlike other anemones the tentacles do not retract fully.

The tentacles are generally shades of grey and green in colour, often with pink tips.

In addition to filter feeding they are able to produce their own food by photosynthesis, which accounts for their preference for well lit habitats.

snakelocks anemones reproduce by 'longitudinal fission', which is the process of splitting into two identical halves. The process takes between 10 minutes and 3 hours.

Snakelocks anemones can sting, and will leave a nasty red rash like mark or graze on the skin surface. The sting is said to be worse than that of some jellyfish, causing irritation for some weeks. 

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UK Safari Marine Section

  2006 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved