Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Wee Gem

Gem Anemone, Bunodactis verrucosa
The attractive Gem Anemone (Bunodactis verrucosa; also Aulactinia verrucosa) is a common inhabitant of well let rockpools and crevies. Its column bears lonitudinal rows of warts, from which its derives its alternative common name the Wartlet Anemone (1). Tentacles are in multiples of six, rarely being more than 48 giving a maximum span of 60 mm. Its wonderful hues of pink, green, red and brown are very appealing but, when combined with the transparency of parts of the tentacles, provide excellent camouflage against the background rockpool flora of encrusting corraline algae. While it reproduces by viviparity, asexual reproduction by budding has also been observed (2). B. verrucosa also has been shown to have excellent regenerative capabilities and has been used as a model to study coelenterate regeneration (3).

  1. Chinery 1999, A Beginner's Guide to Irelands Seashore p. 83
  2. Perrin 1999, Oceanography and Marine Biology: an Annual Review 37 pp. 129–152
  3. Shostak 1983, Development Genes and Evolution 190 pp. 274-282

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