Strawberry anemone (Actinia fragacea)

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



Large anemone with a broad base (up to 10 cm across). The column is red, ranging from bright scarlet to deep brownish crimson, and covered with small green spots. The spots give this anemone its common name as they look like strawberry pips. Wart like spots (acrorhagi), to which gravel and stones attach, may be present.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Recorded from south and west coasts of Britain, records of Actinia equina (beadlet anemone) may include records of Actinia fragacea which was previously considered a variety of Actinia equina, see additional information below.

Global distribution



Recorded on the lower shore attached to rocks and boulders, often found in shaded places. Sometimes found partly buried in sand.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Broad base up to 10 cm across.
  • Red column with many green spots giving appearance of strawberry.
  • Acrorhagi blue but may be white or pink, often indistinct.

Additional information

Many authorities though of Actinia fragacea as a variation of Actinia equina, the beadlet anemone. Carter & Thorpe (1981) demonstrated significant genetic and ecological differences between the two anemones. These differences and the larger size, location on the shore and constant colouration of Actinia fragacea are regarded as proof that it is indeed a distinct species.

Listed by

- none -


  1. Hayward, P., Nelson-Smith, T. & Shields, C. 1996. Collins pocket guide. Sea shore of Britain and northern Europe. London: HarperCollins.

  2. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. (ed.) 1995b. Handbook of the marine fauna of North-West Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  3. 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.]

  4. 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

  5. Picton, B.E. & Costello, M.J., 1998. BioMar biotope viewer: a guide to marine habitats, fauna and flora of Britain and Ireland. [CD-ROM] Environmental Sciences Unit, Trinity College, Dublin.


  1. Centre for Environmental Data and Recording, 2018. Ulster Museum Marine Surveys of Northern Ireland Coastal Waters. Occurrence dataset accessed via on 2018-09-25.

  2. Cofnod – North Wales Environmental Information Service, 2018. Miscellaneous records held on the Cofnod database. Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-09-25.

  3. Isle of Wight Local Records Centre, 2017. IOW Natural History & Archaeological Society Marine Invertebrate Records 1853- 2011. Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-09-27.

  4. Isle of Wight Local Records Centre, 2017. Isle of Wight Notable Species. Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-09-27.

  5. Kent Wildlife Trust, 2018. Kent Wildlife Trust Shoresearch Intertidal Survey 2004 onwards. Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-10-01.

  6. National Trust, 2017. National Trust Species Records. Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-10-01.

  7. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from:

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

  9. South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre, 2018. SEWBReC Marine and other Aquatic Invertebrates (South East Wales). Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-10-02.


This review can be cited as:

Ager, O.E.D. 2008. Actinia fragacea Strawberry 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:

Last Updated: 29/04/2008