Scolanthus callimorphus Gosse, 1853

Worm anemone

Scolanthus callimorphus

Description: This burrowing sea anemone has an elongated column, divided into scapus and scapulus. The base is rounded but not naked, the whole scapus is covered with dense, wrinkled cuticle. There are 16 long tentacles, arranged in 2 distinct cycles - 5+11. The disc and scapulus are patterned with cream, buff, and dark purplish brown. The tentacles are translucent, brownish towards the tips, spotted and banded with white. Size is up to 120mm long, 10mm diameter, span of tentacles to 100mm.

Habitat: Found on shore or in the shallow sublittoral to 10m. Burrows in sand or gravel, often in the vicinity of eel-grass beds.

Distribution: Only two positive records in the British Isles, the coast of Dorset and Kilkieran Bay in Connemara, western Ireland, but may be frequent in the English Channel; possibly has been confused with Edwardsia claparedii in the past. Also known from the Channel Isles, northern France and the Mediterranean. Any new records would be welcomed.

Similar Species: This species has recently been shown to be distinct from Edwardsia claparedii, with which it had formerly been confused. Edwardsia claparedii has a naked aboral end; tentacles arranged 8+8, with brown as well as white spots; and a different, less well defined pattern on disc and scapulus.

Key Identification Features:

Distribution Map from NBN: Grid map (fast) : Interactive map (slower, requires login to view records) : National Biodiversity Network mapping facility, data for UK.

 Picton, B.E. & Morrow, C.C. (2016). Scolanthus callimorphus Gosse, 1853. [In] Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland. Accessed on 2016-10-24

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