Tube anemones have soft bodies that are enclosed in a protective mucous tube, which the anemones bury in soft sand or mud. The tubes can be up to 1m long, while the anemone’s worm-like body can be up to 150mm long – the equivalent of half a standard ruler. When disturbed, the anemones quickly retract into their tubes.

Although known to divers, the tube worms on display, Ceriantheopsis austroafricanus n. sp., have only recently been officially described by scientists. This represents the first report of a benthic cerianthid from South African waters.

(Photo: Geoff Spiby)

Species Facts

  • Tubes can be up to 1m long
  • Soft bodies are enclosed in a protective mucous tube