IUCN threat status:

Vulnerable (VU)

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Biology

Sea anemones are largely sedentary, moving occasionally by creeping extremely slowly or by inflating slightly and allowing currents to move them. The starlet sea anemone pushes its lower half into the mud and contracts its column to burrow into the fine mud, securing itself against water currents. They feed by holding out their tentacles to catch passing food particles and transferring them to the mouth. The starlet sea anemone is not selective in its feeding habits, consuming mainly copepods and midge larvae (4). It reproduces asexually year-round, dividing in half and re-growing each half. During summer and autumn, when resources are plentiful and the water quality is good, the starlet sea anemone will reproduce sexually, with simultaneous release of masses of gelatinous eggs by females and free-swimming sperm by males. There are several larval stages, ultimately metamorphosing into a tiny juvenile with just four tentacles after seven days. The juveniles become reproductively mature after 69 days (5).

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