The Marine Life Information Network

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


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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Listed by


  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


  1. Centre for Environmental Data and Recording, 2018. Ulster Museum Marine Surveys of Northern Ireland Coastal Waters. Occurrence dataset accessed via on 2018-09-25.

  2. Manx Biological Recording Partnership, 2018. Isle of Man historical wildlife records 1990 to 1994. Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-10-01.

  3. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from:

  4. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2023. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. Accessed: 2023-03-23


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 23-03-2023]. Available from:

Last Updated: 03/09/2007