A sea anemone (Anemonactis mazeli)

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



A sea anemone with a variable colouration, column white, orange, red or brown, usually streaked or spotted with white or cream on its upper part. The disc and the tentacles are cream, orange or colourless, often freckled with brown or purple. Other colour varieties probably occur. The column can grow up to 120mm long and has 20 tentacles in two cycles of 10.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Occasional historical records from the English Channel, the Irish Sea and off southwest Ireland. Few recent records.

Global distribution



Burrows in mud, sand or gravel, always offshore, from 20-650 m depth.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Column elongated in extension, short in contraction, divided indistinctly into physa and scapus, physa becoming a small, adherent disc, without a limbus.
  • Minute papillae are scattered over surface of column.
  • Tentacles 20, in two cycles of 10, each consisting of cylindrical shaft and knobbed tip.

Additional information

There is a possibility that the specimen collected in Strangford Lough, northeast Ireland, is a different species to the ones from Plymouth southwards (Howson & Picton, 1999)

Listed by

- none -


  1. Bruce, J.R., Colman, J.S. & Jones, N.S., 1963. Marine fauna of the Isle of Man. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.

  2. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E. ed., 1999. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. CD-ROM Edition. Ulster Museum and The Marine Conservation Society, Belfast and Ross-on-Wye., Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication no. 280.]

  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. Synopses of the British Fauna (New Series) (ed. D.M. Kermack & R.S.K. Barnes). The Linnean Society of London [Synopses of the British Fauna No. 18.]. DOI https://doi.org/10.1002/iroh.19810660505

  5. MBA (Marine Biological Association), 1957. Plymouth Marine Fauna. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom.


  1. Centre for Environmental Data and Recording, 2018. Ulster Museum Marine Surveys of Northern Ireland Coastal Waters. Occurrence dataset https://www.nmni.com/CEDaR/CEDaR-Centre-for-Environmental-Data-and-Recording.aspx accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-09-25.

  2. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from: https://www.nbnatlas.org.

  3. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2024. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2024-07-25


This review can be cited as:

Wilson, E. 2004. Anemonactis mazeli A sea anemone. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 25-07-2024]. Available from: https://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/1222

Last Updated: 10/08/2004