Largest anemone in Antigua. Elongate tentacles of white, grey or green-yellow. Tips can be pink or purple and may be swollen. Body usually hidden in recesses, but can inflate to balloon-like structures.
The giant Caribbean sea anemone is a macrophagous carnivore and feeds upon fish, mussels, shrimp, zooplankton, and sea worms. The anemone's nematocysts help it to capture food as well as defend against predators. Prey are quickly paralyzed by the toxin-bearing nematocysts located on the tentacles, then passed to the mouth
Although primarily a sessile animal, it is quite a mobile species compared to other anemones, crawling slowly on its pedal disc.
Found in reefs, seawalls and seagrass beds down to 100ft (30m).
Primary breeding season is reported to be in late May, however they may continue to reproduce at a low levels throughout the year. This anemone is generally dioecious but occasionally hermaphroditic. It has a 1:1 to sex ratio.
Reproduction is oviparous → planktonic → lecithotrophic. The releasing or spawning of eggs and sperm are relatively synchronous with fertilization occurring externally in the water column. The success of fertilization depends upon the close proximity of separate sexed anemones. Fertilization produces a planula larva, which derives nutrients from yolk, thus larval death by starvation is unlikely, making dispersal an advantageous strategy to survival. The planula larva will settle on the benthos, develop a pedal disc, and then, eventually grow into a fully developed anemone.
| Ecological Descriptors
||Pisc, Cru, Mol, Pla
|| F/ SH