Beadlet Anemone

Actinia equina

What do they look like?

Beadlet anemones are usually red but can sometimes vary and be green or orange. When the tide is out, they look like blobs of jelly on coastal rocks but when the tide is in, their thick tentacles become visible. Up to 192 tentacles are arranged into 6 circles.

Where can I see them in Scotland?

They are found throughout the UK seas and can often be spotted when rock pooling, typically on the middle to lower shore. This species is by far the most common of the anemones found here. The base of their body acts as a sucker, keeping them in place while the tide goes in and out.

Fun Fact
Beadlet anemones are highly territorial and have a ring of bright blue beads beneath their tentacles that are packed full of stinging cells. They use these beads to fight off other anemones and defend their patch. Beadlet anemones are vivaporous and reproduce through internal fertilisation, releasing fully formed young anemones from their mouths. Baby beadlet anemones live in the body cavity of the adults where up to a hundred embryos can develop. Once they are ready to be born, the parent ejects the babies through the water. They land on the rocks and attach themselves to establish their new home.

Size (diameter)

Let's Go Rockpooling! A video guide from the Scottish Seabird Centre

(C) All images Dora Roden