MYSTERY REEF ANIMAL ANSWER!
01 Oct, 2021
Our most recent Mystery Reef Animal was a bit of a stumper, and, as Douglas W. Scher put it, “Well, hard to tell without context!” Considering that, at first, we only had the close-up macro photo provided with an incorrect name by accident, we agree with Douglas! It took a moment before CORAL staff and contributors realized what we were looking at.
So, with this more all-inclusive picture, is there any room for doubt? Were you correct?
The Answer: This is an exceptional cultivar of Maxi-Mini Anemone, sometimes also called the Mini-Maxi or Mini Carpet Anemone, but known to science as Stichodactyla tapetum.
While they don’t naturally or normally host clownfish, they do play host to a range of crustaceans that are anemone symbionts, including Porcelain Anemone Crabs (Neopetrolisthes maculatus) and Sexy Shrimp (Thor amboinensis). Their small maximum size, generally suggested to be 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter, makes them great specimens for small reef aquariums as well as being useful in “mass plantings” to create a mini anemone garden.
You’ll get to see even more of this stunning specimen in the REEF VISIONS column, soon to be published in the November/December 2021 issue of CORAL. Subscribe or renew today so you don’t miss it!
Our special thanks to Klynt Maston and Josh Spearow of A&M Aquatics for the great mystery reef creature and REEF VISIONS photos!