Waratah Anemone
Actinia tenebrosa

The Waratah Anenome's column is smooth and squashed. It's many food gathering tentacles are short and tapered.

At the base of the tentacles on the column, are small bumps which are called spherules. These spherules contain stinging nematocysts which can be injected or fired into prey animals to immobilise them.

The column of the Waratah Anemone is rich red, while the central oral disk is light red in colour. The tentacles are also bright red.

The Waratah Anenome is a distinctively coloured anemone. The nematocyst-bearing spherules on the column are an iridescent blue.

Phylum: Cnidaria Author: Farquhar, 1898
Family: Actiniidae Size: 40 mm diameter

The Waratah Anemone ranges from New South Wales, across Victoria and South Australia, Tasmania to southern Western Australia. It also occurs in New Zealand.

The Waratah Anenome is found at mid to low-tide levels in crevices and the undersurfaces of rocks on semi-protected and exposed rocky shores. Sometimes Waratah Anemones can be found quite high on a shore, or may be seen in quite exposed conditions.

The Waratah Anemone is most often seen in its contracted globular state, where all its tentacles and mouth region are drawn in, so that it looks like a blob of dark brown jelly with a hole on the middle. It is amazing just how much drying out a Waratah Anemone can withstand.

The Waratah Anemone is viviparous which means that it broods its live young inside the column between the septa wall partitions.

When the young have grown tentacles, they are ejected out of the mouth by contractions of the parent's column. The young anemones then settle close to their parents.

When adult anemones occur alongside one another, an individual can tell if the other anemone is related to itself, or not. If it is not related, one adult may attack and devour parts of the other.

Anemones do not remain stuck to one spot. Although imperceptibly slow, they do glide over the rock surface towards food or to attack other adult Waratah Anemones

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