Anemones come in all shapes and sizes, colors and textures, and some even actively try to mimic stony corals. Recently however, a very unusual anemone was acquired by Unique Corals which looks inherently unique. At first glance this anemone appears to have the same general appearance as the Sebae anemone, Heteractis malu, with a yellow green base and purple tentacle tips.
But once you look closer at this unique specimen, it becomes clear that it doesn’t even have any actual tentacle ‘tips’, and instead it sports a highly unusual furry tentacle that is the same greenish yellow as the base color while the “furry” portions are a wicked and wild blue-purple! The only thing this anemone could be mimicking is a very large Rhodactis indosinensis but the color is much more brilliant.
Heterodactyla hemprichii is the only species of anemone like this furry one which routinely exhibits any kind of branched tentacles. However this specimen doesn’t show the tell-tale ‘berries’ that are present around its perimeter leading us to believe that this could very well be an unknown species of the genus Heterodactyla.
Now clownfish and Heterodactyla anemones are not naturally associated in symbiosis in the wild but we could imagine that in the home aquarium some clownfish species might take to this very host-anemone looking furry cnidarian. This is the first such specimen of the ‘furry anemone’ that we’ve come across but now that we know they exist, we will be paying special attention to see if more specimens are collected.