Story: Corals, anemones and jellyfish

Red sea anemone (3rd of 6)

Red sea anemone

The red sea anemone (Actinia tenebrosa), New Zealand’s most common, is found in the intertidal zone of rocky coasts. At low tide the animal draws its tentacles into its mouth to prevent it from drying out (top image). As the tide washes over the animal, its tentacles begin to unfold (middle image). When covered by water at high tide they are expanded fully, ready to sting any unsuspecting shrimp or small fish that swims by (lower image). The Māori name for this animal is kōtore moana.

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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Photograph by Melanie Lovell-Smith

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How to cite this page:

Dennis Gordon, 'Corals, anemones and jellyfish - True corals and sea anemones', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/4731/red-sea-anemone (accessed 3 June 2020)

Story by Dennis Gordon, published 12 Jun 2006, updated 26 Sep 2016