MarLIN

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

Strawberry anemone (Actinia fragacea)

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

Summary

Description

Large anemone with a broad base (up to 10 cm across). The column is red, ranging from bright scarlet to deep brownish crimson, and covered with small green spots. The spots give this anemone its common name as they look like strawberry pips. Wart like spots (acrorhagi), to which gravel and stones attach, may be present.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Recorded from south and west coasts of Britain, records of Actinia equina (beadlet anemone) may include records of Actinia fragacea which was previously considered a variety of Actinia equina, see additional information below.

Global distribution

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Habitat

Recorded on the lower shore attached to rocks and boulders, often found in shaded places. Sometimes found partly buried in sand.

Depth range

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Identifying features

  • Broad base up to 10 cm across.
  • Red column with many green spots giving appearance of strawberry.
  • Acrorhagi blue but may be white or pink, often indistinct.

Additional information

Many authorities though of Actinia fragacea as a variation of Actinia equina, the beadlet anemone. Carter & Thorpe (1981) demonstrated significant genetic and ecological differences between the two anemones. These differences and the larger size, location on the shore and constant colouration of Actinia fragacea are regarded as proof that it is indeed a distinct species.

Listed by

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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.]

  5. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from: http://www.nbnatlas.org.  Accessed 01 April 2017

  6. Picton, B.E. & Costello, M.J., 1998. BioMar biotope viewer: a guide to marine habitats, fauna and flora of Britain and Ireland. [CD-ROM] Environmental Sciences Unit, Trinity College, Dublin., http://www.itsligo.ie/biomar/

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Ager, O.E.D. 2008. Actinia fragacea Strawberry 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/1857

Last Updated: 29/04/2008