The Haitian Sea Anemone (Condylactis gigantean) is a tropical marine ball-type animal. It is also called the Giant Caribbean Sea Anemone. The Haitian Sea Anemone is found as individuals or small, loose groups, but never in colonies like coral. It is related to coral and jellyfish.
The Haitian Sea Anemone is a large columnar sessile (non-moving) animal of many colours: white, pink, orange, pale-red, or light-brown. Its body has an adhesive pedal (foot) disc, a cylindrical body, and a central mouth surrounded by 100 or more tentacles. The tentacles often have a coloured tip (such as purple or pink).
It grows to about 15 centimetres (6 inches) across and 30 centimetres (12 inches) wide.
The Haitian Sea Anemone is found in tropical salwater oceans of the Caribbean Sea, in the West Indies, as well as the western Atlantic Ocean. It is found in reefs and lagoons, often in rock crevices, and attached to a rock, or a shell, or other hard structure.
Although the Haitian Sea Anemone is mostly sessile – attached to an object and not moving – it can move. It can move very, very slowly with its pedal (foot) disc.
It is a carnivore, feeding on fish, mussels, shrimp, plankton, and sea worms.
Its defense mechanism, to protect itself, is the stinging poisonous cells at the tips of each tentacle. If touched, the toxic nematocysts explode out of a capsule, which stick into their prey.
The Haitian Sea Anemone is oviparous – it has eggs. The Anemone releases eggs, which are fertilized externally in the water.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
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