Anthopleura ballii (Cocks, 1850)

Anthopleura ballii

Description: The column of this sea anemone is divided into scapus and capitulum, with a parapet and fosse. The scapus has vertical rows of small warts. The tentacles are moderate or long, fairly stout, arranged in multiples of six. Size up to 50mm across base, span of tentacles to 120mm. Two colour forms, brown or pale yellow; either form may be suffused with pink or crimson, sometimes with a green sheen; disc and tentacles flecked with white; sometimes a dark pattern on the disc. Each wart is pale and tipped with a small red spot.

Habitat: Amongst rocks, in holes or clefts, in mud or sand attached to buried stones etc. On the shore or in the shallow sublittoral. Usually in sheltered habitats.

Distribution: Rather local but abundant in suitable areas, on south and west coasts of Britain and Ireland; southwest Europe and the Mediterranean. Any records east of Isle of Wight or north of Isle of Man would be welcomed.

Similar Species: Compare key features of Urticina felina, Bunodactis verrucosa, and Anthopleura thallia. Has been confused with Aiptasia mutabilis but this species lacks warts and possesses acontia.

Key Identification Features:

Distribution Map: NBN map : National Biodiversity Network mapping facility, data for UK.

WoRMS: Species record : World Register of Marine Species.

iNaturalist: Species account : iNaturalist World Species Observations database

 Picton, B.E. & Morrow, C.C. (2016). Anthopleura ballii (Cocks, 1850). [In] Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland. Accessed on 2024-06-24

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