Wind-flowers of the sea garden
Striped Wandering Red Beadlet Jewel
Anemone or wind flower. (Anemos, Greek for wind)
Sea anemones are related to the polyps which produce corals, but anemones do not produce a skeleton. The tentacles have stinging cells to stun their prey - small fish or marine debris which falls on them. Although anemones can reproduce by producing eggs and sperm, some can also multiply by splitting in half, while others break up into pieces, each of which grows into a new animal.
Other Names: Epiactis thomsoni
Low tide pools and just below low-tide mark.
Red and white vertical stripes up the length of its body
This anemone broods its young.
Noticed it a few times on seaweed. Not overly common.
Other Names: Phlyctenactis tuberculosa
Ranges from rock pools to about 10m.
New Zealand's largest anemone, grows to over 15 cm. Commonly found attached to a piece of seaweed, drifting back and forth in the surge. During the day it looks like a lump of knobbly grey sago (very over-boiled), by night it turns inside-out and becomes a slender flower with a crown of white feathers.
They appear to be nocturnal. Seeing an open wandering sea anemone at night is one of the pleasures of night diving.
Very general on the south coast, but monsters (super-sago) live at Scorching Bay and Point Gordon.
Other Names: Actinia tenebrosa
Lives above half-tide mark.
Dark red anemone observed on rocks at entry/exit, when the tide is nearer to full. When the tide is low they just contract into a dark-red blob.
The eggs develop inside the adult and merge as fully formed young anemones.
High tide along the rocks at entry/exit at The Sirens, opposite the Brass Monkey cafe.
Other Names: I don't even know if 'jewel anemone' is correct, they just look like multicoloured jewels.
Line the walls of the rocks and reefs. Generally in the swim-throughs shallower than 10m.
A variety of colours from orange, pink, white with purple or blue fronds, etc. Small anemones, about 2 cm across.
Tend to 'nest' in patches of a particular type.
Very general. Great displays on the reefs off The Sirens.
Bivalve Shellfish Home The Sponges