Common Name: Swimming Anemone
Distribution: Moderately common in inshore waters of the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Known from the southern half of the Australian continent, from Busselton in Western Australia to northern New South Wales, and including Tasmania. Also recorded from New Zealand.
Ecological Notes: Sheltered to moderately exposed reef with macroalgae and seagrass. Depth from intertidal to 35 m.
Additional Notes: The animal has a large column consisting of reddish brown vesicles and up to 100 tentacles. During daylight hours the animal retracts and anchors itself to the substrate or algae. At night it forages among the leaves of macroalgae, and can move rapidly by crawling or drifting in the current. See similar looking Southern Sea Anemone, Phlyctenanthus australis, which is permanently fixed to rocky substrate. Grows to approximately 150 mm in diameter and up to 250 mm long.
References: Graham J. Edgar. Australian Marine Life, 2nd Edition, 2008. Reed New Holland Publishers. pp 152-3.
Bennett, Isobel, Australian Seashores, Angus and Robertson Publishers. 1987. p 176.