Sea tomato (Actinia Equina) – what it is, features and curiosities

Today we are going to talk about a variety of “tomatothat you cannot eat, a species that lives in rocky areas under the sea and which, given its morphology, allows you to confuse it with the traditional vegetable that adorns all the salads you prepare at home. Before you we present to you the sea tomato.

equine actinia sea tomato

It is a species belonging to the anemones and, although its real name is Actinia Equina, it is popularly known as the sea tomato. Just looking at it in one of its rounded shapes will remind us of the tasty tomato.

However, like the sea wasp, You shouldn’t even touch them, let alone try them.. The sea tomato is a kind of anemone that, like the rest of its family, stings. Its poison may be imperceptible on the hands, but any other more sensitive area of ​​the body could be seen. affected and irritated by the action of the poison container.

Characteristics of the sea tomato

We will start by talking about its particular shape which, although from now on it will be a sea tomato, this species is characterized by having a initially cylindrical bodyalthough under certain circumstances it may contract and round out.

It is precisely this shape, added to its reddish color, that reminds us of the traditional tomato. However, this is only one mechanism to concentrate as much water as possible in situations where the tide goes out and they are exposed.

equine actinia sea tomato

This ability they possess allows them to stay in place until water is again present in the environment. Their crankset gives them some mobilityalthough we are not exactly dealing with a species that likes long journeys.

At its end is the mouth, as well as its tentacles full of stinging cells capable of capturing small fish and all kinds of molluscs that the sea provides. When they are threatened or the water goes down, they retract and present this particular form so striking.

They are classified into several species, which makes it possible to find them in an intense reddish tone as well as green, brown or even purple. The best known, the reds, They can measure up to 7 centimeters.while the others only have 3. In addition, all of them have more than 120 tentacles spread over all the discs that make up your body.

actin sea tomato

Where does the sea tomato live?

The sea tomato usually inhabits rocky areas such as coastal fissures, although it can reach depths of up to 20 meters. However, it is not an anemone that likes to live in colonies, that is, it is quite solitary and does not like to share its habitat with anyone, even if it belongs to the same species. or don’t bother, like sea sponges.

They don’t have many limitations when it comes to temperatures, since you can find them in from the colder regions of the Atlantic to the warm waters of the Mediterranean, as well as the Pacific, Indian or Red Sea oceans.

poisonous sea tomato

It is curious to verify the territorial struggle that it maintains with individuals of the same species, since they are able to engage in combat until one of them withdraws. They have stinging sacs that are bluish in color and that they will not hesitate to use until they are done with “the enemy”.

poisonous sea tomato

As we have already told you lines above, the sea tomato belongs to the anemones, that is to say, it would be strange if it did not sting. They are somewhat aggressive and territorialthus they will not hesitate for a single second to release their poison if they feel threatened.

In the event of a bite, The cnidocytes containing their venom are able to penetrate the skin relatively easilyso it won’t take long to feel irritation and itchiness in the area where you came in contact with them.

poisonous sea tomato

It is best to try to check the affected area and remove any remaining tentacles with tweezers which could have gotten stuck in the skin. In addition to pouring vinegar all over the area to try to neutralize the effect of the poison.

It is important disinfect the area, since its sting, as with some types of algae, could cause an infection in which antihistamines should be used to reduce the effect of the sting. Although this situation occurs only in the most critical cases.

Sea tomato curiosities

In addition to its particular rounded shape, tonality and small size, the sea tomato is also characterized by its reproduction/cloning. They can do it the way sexual as asexualhighlighting three possible paths:

  • Pedal laceration. In this case, simply moving the pickled tomatoes can cause one of their remnants to detach from the crank disc and give birth to a new family member.
  • Gemmation. Dormant buds could develop between the tentacles which, once formed, could give rise to the appearance of new individuals.
  • Cleavage. In this case, when the individual is divided transversely or longitudinally, it could generate a new tomato from these small fragments.

And oddly, even more oddly, any of the offspring created from these three circumstances will be completely genetically identical to its parent. Curious, right?

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sea ​​tomato what is it

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