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Urticina lofotensis - White spotted rose anemone

Geographic range:
Alaska to southern California

Key features:
A large anemone (diameter often >8 cm) that has a red body and columns of white dots. Tentacle color is variable.

Similar species:
Urticina piscivora -- Fish-eating anemone Urticina columbiana -- Sand-rose anemone

bay (rocky shore), exposed rocky shore, kelp forest, protected rocky shore
Urticina lofotensis - White spotted rose anemone image


Primary common name:
White Spotted Rose Anemone
  ITIS code:
Synonymous name(s):
Tealia lofotensis
General grouping:
Corals and anemones

Geographic Range
Range description:
Urticina lofotensis can be found circumpolarly. On the Pacific coast, it is found from Alaska to southern California.
Northern latitude extent:
  Southern latitude extent:
East longitude extent:
  West longitude extent:

Intertidal Height
Lowest intertidal height:
0 meters OR -2 feet
  Highest intertidal height:
-0.3003003 meters OR -1 feet
Intertidal height notes:
Urticina lofotensis can be found in the low intertidal.

Subtidal Depth Range
Minimum depth:
0 meters OR 0 feet
  Maximum depth:
25 meters OR 83.25 feet
Subtidal depth notes:
Urticina lofotensis can be found in the subtidal.

bay (rocky shore), exposed rocky shore, kelp forest, protected rocky shore
Habitat notes:
Urticina lofotensis lives attached to rocks, pilings, marina floats and walls of surge channels. It occurs from the low intertidal to about 25 m deep.

Relative abundance:
Urticina lofotensis is common.

Species Description
General description:
Urticina lofotensis was formally known as Tealia lofotensis. It belongs to the Phylum Cnidaria, Class Anthozoa, and Order Actiniaria. Cnidarians get their name from cnidocytes, which are specialized stinging cells that all members of this order have. Like all Cnidarians, Urticina lofotensis has radial symmetry, meaning that whatever way it is cut along its central axis, the resulting halves will always be mirror images of each other.
Distinctive features:
Urticina lofotensis has a very distinctive smooth scarlet red column with white spots. The tentacles are slender, elongate, and scarlet and lack bands or marks. Urticina lofotensis has few tubercles and they are white and in regular longitudinal rows. Similar to the Northern Red Anemone, Tealia crassicornis, but tentacles lack bands or markings.
Urticina lofotensis's column can grow to about 100 mm in diameter and 15 cm tall.

Natural History
General natural history:
Like all Cnidarians, Urticina lofotensis possesses specialized stinging cells, or cnidocytes, in the tentacles surrounding its mouth. These cnidocytes contain nematocysts, which function by a chemical or physical trigger that causes the specialized cell to eject a barbed and poisoned hook that can kill, or at least paralyze, prey or predators.
Urticina lofotensis feeds mostly by catching small prey with its tentacles, however it may occasionally catch and prey on small fishes or sea stars.

Feeding behavior
Feeding behavior(s):
Omnivore, Sessile suspension feeder
Feeding behavior notes:
Urticina lofotensis is a sessile suspension feeder.
January - December  
Urticina lofotensis has separate sexes and can produce both sexually and asexually. In sexual reproduction males release sperm which stimulates females to release eggs, and fertilization occurs. The fertilized egg grows into a planula, the free-swimming larva, which eventually settles down and grows into a single anemone. Urticina lofotensis can also reproduce asexually by budding, binary fission and pedal laceration. In budding, a part of the anemone breaks off and grows into a new one. In binary fission, the anemone pulls apart into two halves. In pedal laceration, small pieces of the pedal disc break off and regenerate into small anemones.
Gotshall, D. 2005. Guide to marine invertebrates : Alaska to Baja California. Sea Challengers, Monterey, CA. 117 p.

Langstroth, L. and L. Langstroth. 2000. A Living Bay: The Underwater World of Monterey Bay. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA. 287 p.

Meinkoth, N.A. 1998. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Seashore Creatures. A.A. Knopf, New York, NY. 813 p.

Data supplied by SIMoN Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network
Anthopleura xanthogrammica - Giant green anemone

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