Magnificent Sea Anemone (species: Heteractis magnifica) in Lizard Island Field Guide (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Heteractis magnifica
Magnificent Sea Anemone

©Mike Bok: Heteractis magnifica with anemonefish Amphiprion perideraion at Lizard Island.

©Anne Hoggett: Heteractis magnifica with fish Amphiprion percula on the northern side of Lizard Island.

©Barbara Banks: Heteractis magnifica with fish Amphiprion perideraion at Lizard Island
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Cnidaria
Class Hexacorallia
Order Actiniaria
Family Stichodactylidae
Genus Heteractis
Species Heteractis magnifica
Status unspecified



Distinguishing features

A large, spectacular anemone (up to 100 cm diameter) with a brightly-coloured cylindrical "column" or body and numerous blunt tentacles all of similar length, up to about 75 mm. Colour varies, including blue, purple, green, orange, and pink. Occupies an exposed position. The tentacles are fully exposed when the column is relaxed and can be almost fully concealed when retracted into the column.


  • Size data has not been obtained.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

Usually found attached to hard substrate in a prominent position

Local abundance

  • Lizard Island, Queensland, Australia: Not abundant in the Lizard Island area


Fautin and Allen (1992) list numerous damselfish symbionts for this anemone. In the Lizard Island area, its most common fish associate is Amphiprion perideraion.

Web resources


References that assist with identification

  • Fautin, D.G. and G.R. Allen (1992). Field guide to anemonefishes and their host sea anemones Western Australian Museum, Perth, WA.

Other references

  • Arvedlund, M., I. Bundgaard and L.E. Nielsen (2000). Host imprinting in anemonefishes (Pisces: Pomacentridae): does it dictate spawning site preferences? Environmental Biology of Fishes, 58: 203-213. LIRS catalog number 600.
  • Fautin, D.G. (1984). Competition by anemonefishes for a preferred host actinian, American Zoologist, 24(3): 543. LIRS catalog number 193.
  • View all references