Skip to content

Feather-duster anemone

Feather-duster anemone

The feather-duster anemone, a foreigner in South African waters, appears in various forms with a wider base than the column. They are plain in colour but commonly white, orange or dark green. Occasional varieties include brown, grey, red, or yellow.

At the top of their columns, they have short, feather-duster-like tentacles (hence the name) which they use to catch and feed mainly on copepods and the larvae of worms, molluscs and barnacles.

The feather-duster anemone prefers the cold waters of the North Atlantic Ocean and hitchhiked to South African shores on the hulls of ships. The species was first reported in the docks of Table Bay in 1996 and has recently been sighted on deeper reefs of the Agulhas Bank.

Fertilisation takes place externally and the release of sperm into the water triggers the release of eggs from females nearby. Eggs are pink and about 0.1 mm in diameter.

  • Grows up to 30cm long
  • The sea anemone eats food and sends waste out through the same opening
  • They have no skeleton
  • Some hermit crabs attach sea anemones to their shells to provide them with camouflage