Jewel Anemone, Corynactis viridis

Jewel Anemone in the Azores by Tim Nicholson Jewel Anemone, Corynactis viridis
Photo by Tim Nicholson.
Taken in The Azores.

2 October 2017
A myriad of colour patches cover the rock when jewel anemones make it their home.

orange anemones, Corynactis viridis

The reason for the large patches of jewel anemones is their capacity for asexual reproduction. The adult anemone splits itself longitudinally into two which when repeated forms large colonies.

green and purple anemones, Corynactis viridis

These flower-like animals, up to 2.5 cm (1″) across, prey on invertebrates which they have paralysed with nematocysts and caught with their 100 ball-tipped tentacles. They favour fast-flowing water, so look for them where strong currents occur from shore level down to around 80 m.

anemones, Corynactis viridis

Water pressure inside the body maintains the anemone’s shape and provides a base for muscle action.

yellow and pink anemones, Corynactis viridis

Different species of jewel anemones are found in temperate waters around the world. Corynactis viridis occurs around the British Isles, South West Europe and in the Mediteranean. C. californica (also known as the strawberry anemone) is found from San Diego to British Columbia. C. autralis livesaround South East Australia.

green and purple anemones, Corynactis viridis

Photo credits: Tim Nicholson. More of Tim’s photos are on the SCUBA Travel website.

Further Reading

Great British Marine Animals, by Paul Naylor