Sagartia elegans Var. rosea | ©Tony J Gilbert (Northern Ireland)
Sagartia elegans is a very variable species of sea anemone. One of its distinguishing features that can be seen in this photograph, is the presence of numerous tentacles, approximately 200 of them spanning about 4 cm, moderate to long.
This species is often found in large aggregations and may live with their bases inside a hole in the substratum into which they retract into when disturbed.
There are five different varieties of the species recognized on the basis of the coloration of the disc and tentacles. This one is the Var. rosea, in which the disc is variably coloured, plain or patterned, with the tentacles being pink, rose-red or magenta .
Sagartia elegans is a common species, often abundant on all coasts of the British Isles and throughout western Europe, including the Mediterranean .
Animalia - Cnidaria - Anthozoa - Hexacorallia - Actiniaria - Sagartiidae - Sagartia - Sagartia elegans (Dalyell, 1848)