species: Edwardsianthus gilbertensis cf. in taxonomy (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Edwardsianthus gilbertensis cf.

©Anne Hoggett: Edwardsianthus gilbertensis cf. at main LIRS mooring basin, Lizard Island. Diameter is about 6 cm. Tentacles retracted quickly and completely into the sand when disturbed. Thanks to Joe Rowlett (Field Museum, Chicago) for the identification.

©Anne Hoggett: Edwardsianthus gilbertensis cf. in the Lizard Island lagoon. Diameter about 5 cm. Thanks to Joe Rowlett (Field Museum, Chicago) for the id.

©Barbara Banks: Three Edwardsianthus gilbertensis cf. at Lizard Island.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Cnidaria
Class Hexacorallia
Order Actiniaria
Family Edwardsiidae
Genus Edwardsianthus
Species Edwardsianthus gilbertensis cf.



Distinguishing features

Edwardsianthus species have twenty tentacles when mature with five shorter ones held vertically (Rowlett, 2020). Dull colours and striated pattern are typical for E. gilbertensis (Rowlett, pers. comm).

Members of the family Edwardsiidae have external structure as photgraphed: tentacles in a sunburst pattern lying flat on the substrate and shorter tentacles held tent-like over the mouth. Thanks to Dr Andrea Crowther for this information.


  • Size data has not been obtained.



Dr Andrea Crowther (SA Museum) identified the LIRS mooring basin photo as belonging to the family Edwardsiidae. She notes that internal structures need to be examined to distinguish genera and species within the group.

by Anne Hoggett

Joe Rowlett (Field Museum, Chicago) identified it as Edwadsianthus cf gilbertensis in Jan 2020, noting of the LIRS mooring basin photo: "This is a subadult with 18 tentacles, it will develop 20... the dull colors and striated pattern are typical)." He also advised that there is a second sympatric species, E. pudica, with larger blotches and often with a medial line down the tentacles.

by Anne Hoggett


Web resources