Starlet Sea Anemone found in Lincolnshire

14th September 2017

The rare Starlet Sea Anemone has been found at a new site in Lincolnshire!

The Starlet Sea Anemone Nematostella vectensis is a tiny anemone – just 15mm long – that lives in brackish pools along our coast. Until now, it was only known from a handful of sites in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Hampshire, Dorset, the Bristol Channel, and Cumbria. It is considered Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, and rare in the UK – we support the entire European population.

The anemone was found by Mark Telfer in the saline lagoon at RSPB Freiston Shore. The lagoon was created by the RSPB and Environment Agency in a managed realignment project that converted coastal farmland into tidal saltmarsh eight years ago. Creating pools like this is a vital part of conserving the Starlet Sea Anemone – take a look at our factsheet on making ponds for them.

Mark said he wasn’t expecting to find the anemone, and wasn’t sure it was even worth having a targeted look for it. Turns out being curious pays off!

Did you know, British populations of Starlet Sea Anemone are entirely female, forming a clonal colony!? This should increase the chance of individuals starting new populations as potentially only one individual is needed to start a new population.