Leathery Anemone (Heteractis crispa)

This large sea anemone is seen among living reefs, with its body column buried in the sediment. However, it is sometimes seen attached to branching corals.

The Leathery Anemone is identified by its large size, with a diameter of 20 to 30 centimetres when expanded, and reaching up to 50 centimetres when fully expanded. It has numerous long tentacles that are evenly tapered to a point, often with tips that are coloured mauve, blue, or sometimes yellow or green. The body column is uniformly coloured, usually grey, has a leathery texture, and has large, prominent, adhesive bumpy verrucae. The oral disk is usually brownish violet or grey, rarely bright green, sometimes with white stripes.

Several kinds of animals may live happily among the tentacles of the anemone. These include the Five-spot Anemone Shrimp (Periclimenes brevicarpalis) and fishes such as juvenile Threespot Dascyllus (Dascyllus trimaculatus) and many species of anemonefishes, including Clark’s Anemonefish (Amphiprion clarkii), Saddleback Anemonefish (Amphiprion polymnus), and Pink Skunk Anemonefish (Amphiprion perideraion).

Sources: Wild Fact Sheets

Images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 8 by Ria Tan; 5, 6, 7, 10 by Loh Kok Sheng; 9 by Eunice Khoo;