The Waratah Anemone (Actinia tenebrosa) is a very bright red coloured anemone that was named after the Waratah flower – which is also the state emblem for New South Wales – Australia. This species is also commonly referred to as the cherry anemone. This species is known to occur from Shark Bay in Western Australia around the south to the waters of northern New South Wales. Its distribution also includes the waters of Tasmania and New Zealand. It is known to occur on rocky shores from the intertidal zone down to depths of at least 5 metres.
At low tide this species appears to be a dark red blob with a lighter red spot in the middle where its mouth is located. On high tide it unravels its tentacles to feed on drifting food particles and this is when the species appears in its full glory. This species can move about the rock platform and may even attack other adult Waratah Anemone’s.
The Waratah Anemone (Actinia tenebrosa) has a maximum diameter of approximately 4cm.