A sea anemone (Halcampa chrysanthellum)

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



Halcampa chrysanthellum has a long, slender column up to 5 cm long and 5 mm diameter. The column can be white, buff, pink or yellow and is longitudinally striped. Halcampa chrysanthellum has 12 short tentacles. The oral disc is small and usually patterned in various shades of brown on a white, yellowish or cream background. Sometimes the pattern is lacking or present only on the tentacles whilst the disc is plain white, brown or yellow.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Recorded at locations on most coasts of Britain and Ireland.

Global distribution

Coasts of NW France round to the Mediterranean.


Halcampa chrysanthellum burrows in mud, sand or gravel from the low shore to about 100 m depth offshore, often in the region of eelgrass (Zostera marina) beds. It is occasionally found under stones.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Column is 'worm-like', up to 5 cm long and 5 mm diameter.
  • 12 short tentacles on oral disc.
  • Small oral disc.
  • Oral disc patterned in shades of brown on pale background.

Additional information

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Listed by

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  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. 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. Isle of Wight Local Records Centre, 2017. IOW Natural History & Archaeological Society Marine Invertebrate Records 1853- 2011. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/d9amhg accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-27.

  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: 2024-05-18


This review can be cited as:

Ballerstedt, S. 2008. Halcampa chrysanthellum 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 18-05-2024]. Available from: https://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/1620

Last Updated: 23/06/2008