Wild Harris

Plumose Anemone

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This is the largest of the anemones found here, growing to 25cm in height when fully extended. These are usually white or orange in colour, although pale green ones are occasionally seen. The tentacles are very finely divided, resembling a feather duster. You will often be able to see plumose anemones growing on piers and mooring chains. Very exposed cliff faces are sometimes covered in a dwarf version of the plumose anemone – much smaller and shorter but considered to be the same species as the tall individuals seen in sheltered places. Plumose anemones have a very strange way of reproducing assexually (=without sex); small bits break off from the base as they crawl around, and each fragment sprouts tentacles and becomes a new individual!

metridium group 2.jpgPlumose Anenome    (Photo: Paul Tyler)

These plumose anemones are fully extended to catch food in their fine tentacles. The lump on the right is a plumose anemone that is asleep.

dwarf metridium.jpgDwarf Plumose Anenomes    (Photo: Paul Tyler)


These small orange anemones are dwarf plumose anemones which are found on exposed 
underwater cliffs around St Kilda.

by Paul Tyler

Link to Rocky Seabed Animals