If the tank rates high on the happiness
index, corkscrew anemones are not given
to detaching or moving about. However, a
large percentage of specimens are lost due
to errant behavior, such as getting sucked
into or against powerheads, intakes, and
overflows. All of these elements must be
arranged carefully to prevent such a tragedy.
With proper screening and redundancy,
such mistakes can be avoided.
Feeding & Nutrition
M. doreensis feeds on smaller particles
than many anemone species, from almost
microscopic to a quarter-inch ( 6 mm) across
at most. The species is best fed using a large,
healthy refugium incorporated into the
main display. Barring this, a baster-fed mash
of marine protein-based foods a few times a
week is an efficient method of feeding—just
be sure to temporarily shut off the circulation
in the tank as you squirt the mash onto its
tentacles. Any regurgitated foods are usually
an indication that the offerings are too large.
Practically all losses of this species are
associated with improper environmental
conditions: being placed in too small
or too new of a setting; lacking a
sufficient volume of mud/soft sand; being
provided insufficient light or circulation;
metabolite poisoning; and/or a dearth
of biomineral, alkaline, and allelopathic
chemical competition. These animals are
problematic in the same water as other
cnidarians, as mentioned previously.
What happens if yours is not anchored
or is floating about? Test your water and
check the expiration dates on your light
bulbs and lamps. If need be, consider
moving the animal to another system.
Though M. doreensis can and will
occasionally deflate to a degree, it is
likely to stay engorged and full most of
the time. If yours is egesting (i.e., “going
to the bathroom”), it might shrink down
temporarily, but staying closed is a bad
Macrodactyla is not a good candidate for
artificially fragmenting; it just suffers too
much from the process. However, natural
fission events—though not common—do
occur, with one animal splitting into two.
The anemone breaks off a piece of its body,
and the fragment develops a new disc and
tentacles. This is known as asexual fissioning.
A Spectacular Anemone
for Larger Systems
The corkscrew anemone is not as easy to
accommodate as a bubble-tip (Entacmaea
quadricolor), or even a sebae anemone
(Heteractis crispa), as it has some specialized
needs. But it’s also not as prone to stinging
or as large as the carpet anemones. If you
have the room, deep and dirty sand, and a
yearning for a spectacular bottom-dwelling
showpiece, perhaps M. doreensis is for you.
With or without a symbiotic clownfish to
nestle within its tentacles, the long-tentacle
anemone is a beauty. D
Two saddleback clownfish (Amphiprion polymnus) guard an M. doreensis host in their native Sulawesi.