Wild Harris

Jewel Anemone

Link to Rocky Seabed Animals

Although this anemone is small (about 1cm across), it covers exposed submerged rock faces in great sheets of fluorescent colour, producing some of the most spectacular underwater scenery to be seen anywhere. Jewel anemones can be almost any bright colour imaginable, often with contrasting tentacles of a different colour. However they occur in groups of identical animals which results in great swathes of colour across the rock face – a patch of green next to an patch of red, beside a big patch of blue, one of the unseen wildlife spectacles of the underwater cliffs and caves in St Kilda, where they grow particularly well. This is entirely due to their method of asexual reproduction – an individual of a certain colour will simply split in half to create 2 identical anemones, which go on to divide again and again until the rockface is covered in jewel anemones that look exactly the same.

Jewel Anemone.jpgJewel Anemone    (Photo: Sue Scott)

Shining like tiny jewels, these anemones are all the same colour because they are all descended from the same individual

jewel closeup.jpgJewel Anemone    (Photo: Sue Scott)

A close-up of the jewel anemone. It is the only anemone with knobs on the end of its tentacles.

by Paul Tyler

Link to Rocky Seabed Animals