The tentacles of anemones in deep or murky water can be a grey colour but are otherwise usually a deep green colour with purple tips. This is due to the presence of symbiotic algae within the tentacles that use sunlight as an energy source. Since the anemones benefit from this they prefer brightly lit shallow waters. The two shown together in the image to the right show a marked difference in colouration. On average the snakelock anemone is 8 cm wide.
Unlike other cnidarians, anemones (and other Anthozoa) entirely lack the free-swimming medusa stage of the life cycle; the polyp produces eggs and sperm, and the fertilized egg develops into a planula that develops directly into another polyp.
This species is becoming a popular aquarium pet, especially in Europe. It readily adapts to aquaria.
This anemone is consumed in southwestern Spain, in the Gulf of Cádiz region, as ortiguillas de mar (literally, "little sea nettles", because it has urticant properties before it is cooked), or simply ortiguillas. The whole animal is marinated in vinegar, coated in a tempura-like batter, and deep-fried in olive oil. Ortiguillas are offered in some coastal Andalusian restaurants as a delicacy. They are similar in appearance and texture to croquettes, but have a strong seafood taste.
- Dr Keith Hiscock 2008. Anemonia viridis. Snakelocks anemone. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 25/06/2013]. Available from: <http://www.marlin.ac.uk/speciesinformation.php?speciesID=2517>
- Receta: Ortiguillas de Mar
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