- Anemones are flower-like invertebrates that have many long tentacles surrounding a central mouthpart which is attached to a hard surface.
- At low-tide or when disturbed, the tentacles retract and the anemone looks like a round blob of jelly.
- Green anemones range in colour from bright green to dark olive brown and are always attached to hard surfaces.
- Size: 50-70 mm.
What to Observe
Search area for 30 minutes and record under the following categories-
- Abundant - found easily with little searching
- Frequent - found with minimal searching
- Rare – only 1 or 2 individuals found with intensive searching
- Not found - not present during search
ClimateWatch Science Advisor
Green anemones are affected by coastal development which can increase the amount of solids and pollution in the water, affecting their feeding habits and body condition. Increasing water temperature as a result of climate change will likely affect their abundance and cause a southward shift in their distribution.
When To Look
Throughout the year
Where To Look
- Common on rocky shores, from mid to low tide levels. Usually found in rock pools and crevices.
- Rottnest Is WA, SA, TAS, NSW up to Southern QLD.
Davey, K. (1998). A Photographic Guide to Seashore Life of Australia. New Holland Publishers Australia Pty Ltd.
Edger, GJ. (2008). Australian Marine Life. The Plants and Animals of Temperate Waters [2nd Ed]. New Holland Publishers Australia Pty Ltd.
Two other types of anemones are commonly found in intertidal areas, the red (waratah) anemone and the sand anemone, both of which can live together with the green anemone. Red anemones are bright red to purple in colour and also live on hard surfaces. Sand anemones are clear to light brown or green in colour and often have horizontal bands on their tentacles. Sand anemones live only in sand (not on rock) and are often covered in sand or grit. Green anemones only live on rock and their tentacles are always only one colour.
Did You Know?
Anemones are not fixed in one place but can move, by either crawling along the substrate or by floating to a new place.
Their tentacles contain hundreds of stinging cells called ‘nematocysts’ which the anemone uses to sting and immobilize their prey. These are the same cells that give bluebottles their sting although most anemone species cannot penetrate human skin.