MarLIN

information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

A sea anemone (Sagartiogeton undatus)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.

Summary

Description

A graceful sea anemone with long tentacles arranged in multiples of six. It grows up to 12 cm tall and 6 cm across the base which is strongly adherent. The disc and tentacles are translucent pale greyish in colour, while the disc is variegated with cream, and with a regular but not striking pattern. The tentacles have lateral dark lines down their length. The column is tall in extension with no suckers and pale yellowish buff in colour, with regular vertical stripes of brown flecks of variable intensity.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Present on all British and Irish coats.

Global distribution

Scandinavia to Mediterranean.

Habitat

Typically found buried in sand or gravel, attached to a stone or shell 10-15 cm into the sediment or in crevices or holes in rocks. Found on the lower shore and sublittoral to a depth of at least 100 m.

Depth range

Lower shore to 100m

Identifying features

  • Column at full extension up to 12 cm high and 2 cm diameter.
  • Oral disc wider than column, with an unusually wide mouth.
  • Tentacles up to 200, long, slender, arranged hexamerously.
  • No suckers.
  • Striped pattern on column is consistent and distinctive.

Additional information

Sagartiogeton undatus is often found in the company of Sagartia troglodytes or Cereus pedunculatus, where these occur buried, and in the past has been confused with both these species although easily distinguished from them by its lack of suckers. Philip Henry Gosse christened this species the Snakelocks, but this name proved popular with the more common species Anemonia viridis.

Listed by

- none -

Further information sources

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Bibliography

  1. Hayward, P., Nelson-Smith, T. & Shields, C. 1996. Collins pocket guide. Sea shore of Britain and northern Europe. London: HarperCollins.

  2. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. (ed.) 1995b. Handbook of the marine fauna of North-West Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  3. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  4. Manuel, R.L., 1988. British Anthozoa. London: Academic Press.[Synopses of the British Fauna, no. 18.]

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Wilson, E. 2007. Sagartiogeton undatus A sea anemone. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Available from: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/1414

Last Updated: 20/04/2007