Reference - Heteractis Type Anemones, Page 6
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Heteractis Type Anemones


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Heteractis aurora

The tentacles are medium in length. Small bulges can be seen on the tentacles but not necessarily on all of them. Sometime they only appear on the outer ones and not on the ones near the mouth opening. These bulges can be real close together giving the tentacle the appearance that it is beaded. This is very typical of H. aurora and not found in other anemones to the extent it is in this anemone.

The tentacles nearer to the mouth are usually shorter than the outer ones. The mouth opening is often clearly visible because they are far fewer tentacles in that region. Also, tentacles close to the mouth region are short and not as close together as the ones on the outer edge.

Radial markings starting from the mouth opening and running towards the outer edges are not uncommon. They can be of varying colors depending on the geographical origin of the specimen (brown, purple, green for instance).

The tentacles are often slightly tapered and may have a colored tip. This color, often purple or close to that, may disappear when the animal is kept in an aquarium. Once the color goes, it is unlikely that it will come Back.

The column or stem is short and sticky and is marked by the presence of "verrucae". The bud looking small bulges are sticky to the touch as well. They may be present on the entire body or only on the upper part. Touching these verrucae will give a stinging sensation, just as if one touches an anemone's tentacles.

The column can be dull in color but can also be orange or red. Again, this color often disappears after the animal has been kept in a tank for a few months. No clear explanation for this exists. No one has suggested how this color can be made to remain or can be regenerated if it has disappeared. The color is really determined by the amount of zooxanthellae and their density as well as by the type of pigments that are present.

Some of the clownfish that associate with this anemone are:

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