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Cryptodendrum adhaesivum

Sticky Anemone



Fact Sheet



Physical Description



Life History & Behavior

Feeding Behavior


Reproduction and Development


Response to Light Changes

Anatomy & Physiology

Circulatory and Excretory Systems

Defense Mechanisms: Cnidocytes and Cnidae

Digestive System

Nervous and Sensory Systems

Skeleton and Musculature

Evolution and Systematics

Biogeographic Distribution

Conservation and Threats

References and Links


The order Actiniaria, also known as sea anemones, has a particularly high morphological diversity as compared to other orders in the class Anthozoa1, especially in tropical environments. It has been suggested that the symbiotic interactions with photosynthetic zooxanthellae and anemonefishes may have led to the evolution of their diversity2,3.

Cryptodendrum adhaesivum is monotypical and is the only species in its genus4. It does not look like a typical sea anemone with long tentacles; instead, its tentacles take on three different morphologies (see Physical Description). It can be found in shallow waters, as it was on Heron Island and will rapidly retract into the crevice it wedges itself in between if touched. It is extremely sticky and this individual was found to harbor high densities of cnidae in its tentacles. This individual was also noted to respond to changes in light intensity, and will expand its oral disc when exposed to light and contract when placed in the dark (see Response to Light Changes).

1Schmidt 1974
2Fautin 1987
3Fautin & Mariscal 1990
4Erhardt & Knop 2005