Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce

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Maroon anemones, Actinia bermudensis, growing on rocky surfaces from the Indian River Lagoon. Photos by L. Holly Sweat, Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce.

Species Name: Actinia bermudensis McMurrich, 1889
Common Name: Maroon Anemone
Red Anemone
Stinging Anemone
Synonymy: None
  1. TAXONOMY

    Kingdom Phylum/Division Class: Order: Family: Genus:
    Animalia Cnidaria Anthozoa Actiniaria Actiniidae Actinia

    Please refer to the accompanying glossary for definitions of the descriptive terms used in this report.

    The maroon anemone, Actinia bermudensis, has short, tapering tentacles arranged in several rings around the oral disk (Kaplan 1988). Bright blue or pink warts, called acrorhagi, encircle the margin of the otherwise smooth column, just below the outermost row of tentacles (Ruppert & Fox 1988). The whole animal is yellowish to maroon in color

  2. HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION

    Habitat & Regional Occurence

    The maroon anemone is common on rocks just below the low tide line from northern Florida throughout the Caribbean and Bermuda (Ruppert & Fox 1988), down to Brazil (Schlenz 1983).

  3. LIFE HISTORY AND POPULATION BIOLOGY

    Size & Growth

    The column attaches to the substrate via a pedal disk that is approximately 2.5 cm in diameter (Ruppert & Fox 1988). Individuals often reach 5 cm in height.

    REPRODUCTION

    A. bermudensis commonly reproduces via asexual fission, dividing lengthwise to form two individuals (Ruppert & Fox 1988). This form of reproduction enables the species to quickly colonize surfaces. The maroon anemone also undergoes another form of asexual reproduction, brooding asexually produced young in the coelenteron that are released as tiny anemones (Monteiro et al. 1998).

  4. PHYSICAL TOLERANCES

    No information is available at this time

  5. COMMUNITY ECOLOGY

    Stinging Behavior

    The maroon anemone is commonly found among other benthic invertebrates. When space is limited and A. bermudensis is in danger of being crowded out, the anemone stings nearby species with its acrorhagi (Ruppert & Fox 1988). When handled, A. bermudensis can cause a burning irritation that may leave red welts on the skin.

  6. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

    No information is available at this time

  7. REFERENCES

    Kaplan EH. 1988. A field guide to southeastern and Caribbean seashores: Cape Hatteras to the Gulf coast, Florida, and the Caribbean. Houghton Mifflin Co. Boston, MA. USA. 425 pp.

    Monteiro FA, Russo CA & AM Solé-Cava. 1998. Genetic evidence for the asexual origin of small individuals found in the coelenteron of the sea anemone Actinia bermudensis McMurrich. Bull. Mar. Sci. 63: 257-264.

    Ruppert E & R Fox. 1988. Seashore animals of the Southeast: a guide to common shallow-water invertebrates of the southeastern Atlantic Coast. University of SC Press. Columbia, SC. 429 pp.                

    Schlenz E. 1983 AnSmonas (Cnidaria: Actiniaria) do Brasil. Anals Acad. Bras. CiSnc 55: 330-331.

Page by LH Sweat
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Page last updated: 28 December 2012

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