Marine Animal Encyclopedia
Jewel Anemone Corynactis viridis
Jewel anemones often cover large areas of underwater cliff faces, creating a spectacular display. Individual jewel anemones can be almost any color, and they reproduce by splitting in half, making two new identical anemones. This results in dense patches of different-colored anemones. Each jewel anemone has a small saucer-shaped disk circled by stubby translucent tentacles. The tentacles have knobbed tips that are often a contrasting color to the tentacle shafts, disk, and column of the jewel anemone. The color combination shown here is one of the most common. Jewel anemones are not true anemones but belong to a group of anthozoans called coralliomorphs. These closely resemble the polyps of hard corals but have no skeleton. Coralliomorphs are found in all oceans but are most common in the tropics.