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Anemones and Corals: Anthozoa

Frilled Anemone (metridium Senile): Species Accounts

Physical characteristics: Frilled anemones have hundreds to thousands of small, slender tentacles on a lobed crown, giving them a feathery appearance. They are about 12 inches (30 centimeters) tall. The body column is smooth with a distinct collar below the tentacles. The color varies from white to brownish orange.


Geographic range: Frilled anemones live in the Arctic region, and their range extends south to New Jersey, United States, in the western part of the Atlantic Ocean; Spain in the eastern part of the Atlantic; southern California, United States, in the eastern part of the Pacific Ocean; and South Korea in the western part of the Pacific.


Habitat: Frilled anemones attach themselves to rocks, shells, wood, and other hard materials in areas exposed at low tide to water as deep as 540 feet (165 meters).


Diet: Frilled anemones trap prey in mucus-coated tentacles. Prey include tiny crustaceans and the larvae of mollusks. Crustaceans Frilled anemones adjust the length of their body column to the flow of the current. (Fred Bavendam/Peter Arnold, Inc.) (krus-TAY-shuns) are water-dwelling animals that have jointed legs and a hard shell but no backbone. Mollusks (MAH-lusks) are animals with a soft, unsegmented body that may or may not have a shell.


Behavior and reproduction: Frilled anemones adjust the length of their body column to the flow of the current. They use catch tentacles equipped with stingers to attack other species in competition for their space. The tips of the catch tentacles remain attached to the victim. Frilled anemones have separate sexes. The males release sperm into the water, and fertilization takes place inside the female's body. These anemones reproduce asexually by splitting in two or when a piece of the base breaks off and grows into a new individual.


Frilled anemones and people: Frilled anemones have no known importance to people.


Conservation status: Frilled anemones are not threatened or endangered. ∎

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceJellyfish, Sponges, and Other Simple AnimalsAnemones and Corals: Anthozoa - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Anemones, Corals, And People, Giant Green Anemone (anthopleura Xanthogrammica): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, CONSERVATION STATUS