Fire Anemone (Actinodendron plumosum)
The Fire Anemone is part of the stinging sea anemone family (Actinodendronidae family). Sometimes they are also referred to as Hexacorals, Pinnate Anemone, Sand Anemone, Knobby-tentacled Anemones, Beaded-tentacled Anemones, Tree Anemones and Branching Anemones. They are common in the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific. These sea creatures live in colonies and can be found in sandy areas near or around coral, rocky reefs and rubble.
These docile creatures have an extremely powerful and painful sting. The Fire Anemone\’s sting can damage or kill other corals and some species even sting and eat fish. People that have been stung by these creatures, report having extremely painful burning sensations. They have the appearance of soft corals with their tentacles that are studded with branches. Generally, they have about 40 tentacles that house the stinging cells. They will bury their bodies in the sand with only their oral disc and tentacles visible, allowing them to retract completely into the sand if threatened. The typical Fire Anemone reaches approximately 15 to 20 centimeters in length. Their colorations range from green, white, brown, purple, yellow or blue.
Most Fire Anemone feed on plankton, but they are capable of eating anything caught in their stinging tentacles including quite big fish.
Information courtesy of animal-world.com, wildsingapore.com, whatsthatfish.com
Photo courtesy of flickr.com