Calliactis polypus (Forskal, 1775)
Found in numbers attached to pumice washed up on the beaches of the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Anecodotal evidence suggests pumice may be from recent (2012/13) volcanic eruption in the Kermadec Islands, north of New Zealand.
Feed in the water column while attached to floating objects, in this case pumice.
Calliactis polypus has been recorded attached as shown and washed ashore. It may also be found on hermit crab shells.
Samples below found on beach and revived, then photographed in small aquarium. Samples have been collected and preserved by Dr Anna Scott of Southern Cross University, National Marine Science Centre and forwarded to Michela Mitchell of Museum Victoria. Top photograph shows anemone in dehydrated condition after washing ashore attached to pumice.
Bennett, Isobel, Australian Seashores, Angus and Robertson Publishers, 1987. p177.