Waratah anemone

Waratah anemone
Image: John Turnbull
Community type

Intertidal reef organisms

Habitat type

Rocky reefs, kelp beds and inter-tidal zone

It is hard to miss these dark red coloured sea anemones of the mid to low tide zone. They live in rock pools and also on subtidal reef up to 5 metres depth. Also known as sea-squirts, these animals are able to survive exposure to air during low tides by hiding in shaded rock crevices or in rock pools. During a low tide they cling tightly to rocks and enclose their tentacles within their large mouth to look like a red blob. When the tide returns they unfurl their dark red tentacles and begin to filter food from the water. One siphon draws water in while water is pumped out a second siphon. When covered by water they can slowly crawl over the rocks. Once born baby anemonies emerge from the tentacle lined mouth and float as plankton before sticking to rock surfaces to start their own independent lives.

Much of the text within the species area of our website was written by Veronica Thorpe, as part of the Derwent River Wildlife Guide (2000).

The DEP has developed a variety of classroom and outdoor activities focused around the key estuary habitats of tidal wetlands, salt marshes and rocky reefs. These include classroom materials, online resources, interpretive walks, games and sensory experiences.