Actinia equina  (Linnaeus, 1758)
Main synonym = Actinia mesembryanthemum    Ellis and Solander, 1786
Taxonomical Classification:  Animalia / Cnidaria / Anthozoa / Actinaria / Actiniidae
Beadlet anemone     Artikla ħamra
Further Information:
Actinia equina is found attached to hard substrata, both in exposed and sheltered situations, from the upper to lower shore and rarely in subtidal areas to depths of around 20 m. It is highly adapted to the intertidal zone as it tolerates high temperatures and desiccation. Actinia equina is also found in regions of variable salinity such as estuaries.

This anemone has a broad (up to 5 cm in diameter) base, which is moderately or firmly adhesive, with a smooth column. It has up to 192 tentacles arranged into 6 circles. The tentacles readily retract if the animal is disturbed. Actinia equina is uniform in colour, with no pattern on the disk, and can be red, brown, green or orange in colour. Bright blue wart like spots, called acrorhagi, are often found round the inside of the top margin of the column. When exposed at low tide, tentacles are retracted and animal assumes spherical shape to minimise dehydration. Actinia equina is similar in form to the Strawberry anemone (Actinia fragacea) but is a uniform colour and is typically rather smaller. Quite common in Malta.

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