Both the tentacles and oral disc of beaded anemone (Heteractis aurora) are brown or purplish. The tentacles reach 50 mm in length, may be sticky when touched, and can have tips of a magenta colouration. The longer tentacles contain swellings. These appear on only on a single side, or almost entirely surrounding the tentacle, giving the appearance of beads on a string. A maximum of 20 such swellings may occur on any single tentacle. This species has a broad, flattened oral disc reaching 250 mm wide, and may have white or brown markings that radiate from the centre, and even continue up and along the tentacles.
Beaded sea anemone's Behavior & Ecology
The Beaded Anemone is widespread throughout the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indo Pacific.
Beaded sea anemone's Feeding
As with other anemones the Beaded anemone forms symbiotic relationships with single celled algae. The anemone benefits from the algae’s photosynthesis, namely oxygen and food in the form of glycerol, glucose and alanine. The algae in turn obtain protection against herbivores from the anemones stinging cells and good exposure to light. They also use their venomous cells or nematocysts in the tentacles to sting and capture prey such as small fish and planktonic matter. Additionally they obtain some nutrition from a commensal relationship with clown fish which sometimes reside in the anemones tentacles.
Beaded sea anemone's Reproduction
Beaded anemones can reproduce asexually by budding or splitting and by sexual reproduction.