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Species guide

Snakelocks anemone

Scientific name: Anemonia sulcata

DESCRIPTION:
The anemones are pink invertebrates with a vegetable appearance and long, moving tentacles. The snakelocks anemone has two clearly different shapes distinguished in the external appearance and the habitat: one smaller form with a diameter of 2 to 5 cm, which preferably lives on well-lit rocky walls and beds with blocks up to 5 m in depth; and another larger form with a diameter of up to 15 cm and tentacles up to 50 cm in length, which also lives on well-lit rocky walls but at depths of between 3 and 25 m.

BIOLOGY:
There are different animal species that live in association with the anemones, for instance some fish and crabs. They normally live alone and sometimes in small groups.
They are carnivores that eat small crustaceans, mussels and small fish.
If the conditions are right, they can reproduce by longitudinal division, that is, asexually, but they also have oviparous sexual reproduction from May to July and separate sexes.

HABITAT:
This invertebrate lives on rocks exposed to light, often from the tide line to depths of 6 metres. It is often found in shallow waters in calm bays, and withstands dirty waters very well.

DISTRIBUTION:
It is found in the Mediterranean Sea.

STATUS:
Species not evaluated (according to the red list of endangered species).

CURIOSITIES:
The snakelocks anemone, like all cnidaria, can have a powerful sting. When it is touched with your fingers, the stinging cells attack the skin, but without piercing it, and the tentacles remain stuck on your fingers. As the tentacles come off easily, there is always a danger that they might reach more delicate areas such as the face, neck, inner arm, etc., causing injuries.