White cluster anemone (Parazoanthus anguicomus)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.Map Help



A colonial anemone similar to Parazoanthus axinellae but polyps are generally larger, up to 25 mm tall and 8 mm diameter, with 34 -44 tentacles. The colouration of the whole colony is whitish, sometimes tinted with buff or pink.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Western Ireland, western and northern Scotland.

Global distribution



Found encrusting sponges, worm tubes, corals and stones. Generally occurs in deep water down to at least 400 m but also found in shallow coastal waters.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Colonies encrusting, growth form varying considerably according to the substratum.
  • Basal coenenchyme may form broad, irregular expansions or narrow stolons which branch and anastomose.
  • Polyps usually set close together, up to 25mm tall and 8mm diameter.
  • Tentacles 34-44, typically 40-42.

Additional information

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  1. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  2. Manuel, R.L., 1988. British Anthozoa. Synopses of the British Fauna (New Series) (ed. D.M. Kermack & R.S.K. Barnes). The Linnean Society of London [Synopses of the British Fauna No. 18.]. DOI https://doi.org/10.1002/iroh.19810660505


  1. Centre for Environmental Data and Recording, 2018. Ulster Museum Marine Surveys of Northern Ireland Coastal Waters. Occurrence dataset https://www.nmni.com/CEDaR/CEDaR-Centre-for-Environmental-Data-and-Recording.aspx accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-09-25.

  2. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from: https://www.nbnatlas.org.

  3. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2024. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2024-07-21


This review can be cited as:

Wilson, E. 2008. Parazoanthus anguicomus White cluster anemone. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 21-07-2024]. Available from: https://marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/1212

Last Updated: 17/04/2008