Biodiversity & Conservation

Fireworks anemone - Pachycerianthus multiplicatus - General information

Pachycerianthus multiplicatus

Image Chris Lumb - Individual with out-stretched tentacles. Image width: ca 30 cm
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Distribution map

Pachycerianthus multiplicatus recorded (dark blue bullet) and expected (light blue bullet) distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)

Why do the maps differ?

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  • UK_BAP

General information

Key Icon Researched by: Catherine Wilding and Emily Wilson Text page icon Refereed by: This information is not refereed.

Taxonomy icon Taxonomy

Phylum Cnidaria Sea anemones, corals, sea firs & jellyfish
Class Hexacorallia
Map icon Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland Recorded from Kenmare River and Kilkieran Bay (western Ireland) and from sea-lochs on the western coast of Scotland, notably Lochs Duich and Fynne.
Habitat information icon Habitat information Lives in a long thick tube, often over 1 m long, in mud or muddy sand, from about 10-130 m depth. Found only in very sheltered conditions around the head of fijordic sea lochs.
Text page icon Description Pachycerianthus multiplicatus is a large burrowing anemone, occupying a tube-like burrow that may exceed 1 m in length. Both the length of the column and the breadth of the tentacles can reach 30 cm. The tentacles are long and occur in two cycles, with up to 200 tentacles in the marginal cycle. The tentacles are incapable of retraction but may coil spirally on disturbance. The colour of the inner tentacles is pale buff or chestnut and the marginal tentacles are whitish with fine brown bands, or plain white.

This review can be cited as follows:

Catherine Wilding and Emily Wilson 2009. Pachycerianthus multiplicatus. Fireworks anemone. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 26/11/2015]. Available from: <>