Timid burrowing anemone (Edwardsia timida)

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



A burrowing anemone, similar to Edwardsia claparedii but with a column generally more slender, up to 70mm long and 5mm in diameter. The tentacles are long and translucent orange-pink in colour, occasionally buff. It has 20-28 tentacles usually but up to 36 have been recorded. The column is streaked or spotted with white.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

North-east Ireland, the Isle of Man and north-west Scotland. Rarely recently recorded.

Global distribution



Burrows in sand or gravel from lower shore to shallow sublittoral.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Column slender, lacks rows of tubercles.
  • Physa with cinclides.
  • Tentacles 16-36, arranged in three cycles, always with four in the primary cycle, these are stouter and sometimes shorter than the other tentacles.

Additional information

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

  2. 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.]

  3. 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


  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. Manx Biological Recording Partnership, 2018. Isle of Man historical wildlife records 1990 to 1994. Occurrence dataset:https://doi.org/10.15468/aru16v accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

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

  4. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2024. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2024-07-22


This review can be cited as:

Wilson, E. 2007. Edwardsia timida Timid burrowing 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 22-07-2024]. Available from: https://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/1224

Last Updated: 03/09/2007