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

A sea anemone (Halcampa chrysanthellum)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.
Only coastal and marine records shown



Halcampa chrysanthellum has a long, slender column up to 5 cm long and 5 mm diameter. The column can be white, buff, pink or yellow and is longitudinally striped. Halcampa chrysanthellum has 12 short tentacles. The oral disc is small and usually patterned in various shades of brown on a white, yellowish or cream background. Sometimes the pattern is lacking or present only on the tentacles whilst the disc is plain white, brown or yellow.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Recorded at locations on most coasts of Britain and Ireland.

Global distribution

Coasts of NW France round to the Mediterranean.


Halcampa chrysanthellum burrows in mud, sand or gravel from the low shore to about 100 m depth offshore, often in the region of eelgrass (Zostera marina) beds. It is occasionally found under stones.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Column is 'worm-like', up to 5 cm long and 5 mm diameter.
  • 12 short tentacles on oral disc.
  • Small oral disc.
  • Oral disc patterned in shades of brown on pale background.

Additional information

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Listed by

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Further information sources

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


This review can be cited as:

Ballerstedt, S. 2008. Halcampa chrysanthellum 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. [cited 15-08-2018]. Available from:

Last Updated: 23/06/2008