The sea anemone uses both sexual and asexual forms of reproduction. Asexual reproduction results in an anemone with the same DNA as the original, while sexual reproduction results in anemones with different DNA than that of their parents.
Sea anemones use two types of asexual reproduction. Some anemones divide into two different parts. Each of these parts becomes a separate sea anemone. Other sea anemones reproduce by splitting off pieces of their basal discs, which help the anemones attach themselves to rocks. Each piece becomes a new sea anemone. Some species form large colonies by reproducing asexually.
Some types of sea anemones produce sperm and eggs to use for sexual reproduction. Anemones that reproduce using this method release sperm and eggs into the water. When the sperm and eggs meet, they unite to form a new anemone. It may take a few weeks for the new anemone to develop fully.
The Epiactis anemone uses a somewhat unusual method of reproduction. Fertilization takes place inside the anemone instead of in the water. When the larvae are ready, they crawl out of the parent anemone's mouth and settle at its base. After about three months, the new Epiactis move away from the parent anemone to live on their own.