Actinia bermudensis (McMurrich, 1889)
Family: Actiniidae
Common names: Maroon Anemone,  more...
Actinia bermudensis image
Actinia bermudensis  

Habitat & Regional Occurrence: The maroon anemone is common on rocks just below the low tide line from northern Florida throughout the Caribbean and Bermuda (Ruppert & Fox 1988), and as far south as Brazil (Schlenz 1983).

Size & Growth: The column attaches to the substrate via a pedal disk that is approximately 2.5 cm in diameter (Ruppert & Fox 1988). Individuals often reach 5 cm in height.


A. bermudensis commonly reproduces via asexual fission, dividing lengthwise to form two individuals (Ruppert & Fox 1988). This form of reproduction enables the species to quickly colonize surfaces. The maroon anemone also undergoes another form of asexual reproduction, brooding asexually produced young in the coelenteron, and which are released as tiny anemones (Monteiro et al. 1998).

Stinging Behavior: The maroon anemone is commonly found among other benthic invertebrates. When space is limited and A. bermudensis is in danger of being crowded out, the anemone stings nearby species with its acrorhagi (Ruppert & Fox 1988). When handled, A. bermudensis can cause a burning irritation that may leave red welts on the skin.

Kaplan EH. 1988. A field guide to southeastern and Caribbean seashores: Cape Hatteras to the Gulf coast, Florida, and the Caribbean. Houghton Mifflin Co. Boston, MA. USA. 425 pp.

Monteiro FA, Russo CA & AM Solé-Cava. 1998. Genetic evidence for the asexual origin of small individuals found in the coelenteron of the sea anemone Actinia bermudensis McMurrich. Bull. Mar. Sci. 63: 257-264.

Ruppert E & R Fox. 1988. Seashore animals of the Southeast: a guide to common shallow-water invertebrates of the southeastern Atlantic Coast. University of SC Press. Columbia, SC. 429 pp.                

Schlenz E. 1983 AnSmonas (Cnidaria: Actiniaria) do Brasil. Anals Acad. Bras. CiSnc 55: 330-331.

Acrorhagi: Plural of Acrorhagus.

Acrorhagus: Cnidocyte-covered elevation on specialized sweeper tentacles or on the column of anthozoans.

Cnida: An eversible cnidarian organelle that occurs in the cnidocyte.

Cnidae: Plural of cnida.

Cnidocil: A short, stiff, bristle-like cilium that is borne on the cnidocyte and acts as a trigger for the cnida or nematocysts.

Coelenteron: The body cavity and gut of cnidarians and ctenophores; gastrovascular cavity.

Column: The stalk portion of sea anemones.

Hydromedusa: Hydrozoan medusa.

Hydromedusae: Plural of hydromedusa.

Hydrorhiza: Horizontal rootlike stolon of a hydroid colony that grows over the substratum.

Hydrorhizae: Plural of hydrorhiza.

Mesoglea: Connective tissue layer between the epidermis and gastrodermis of cnidarians and ctenophores.

Nematocyst: Stinging cnida of cnidarians.

Ocelli: Plural of ocellus.

Ocellus: A small cluster of photoreceptors; a simple eye.

Oral Disk: Area around the mouth of an anthozoan polyp which bears eight to several hundred hollow tentacles.

Pedal Disk: In some sea anemones, a flattened disc at the aboral end of the column for attachment.

Planula: A cnidarian larva that is elongated and radially symmetrical but with anterior and posterior ends.

Planulae: Plural of planula.

Septa: Plural of septum.

Septum: A double-walled tissue partition in the radial plane of a cnidarian.

Spirocyst: Cnida with a long adhesive thread that functions in capture of prey and in attachment to a substratum.

Tentacle: Evagination of the body wall surrounding the mouth which aids in the capture and ingestion of food.

Zooxanthella: A golden-brown alga, usually a dinoflagellate, that is symbiotic with various marine animals, especially cnidarians.

Zooxanthellae: Plural of zooxanthella.

Actinia bermudensis image
Actinia bermudensis