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Species Database

Urticina lofotensis - White Spotted Rose Anemone

White Spotted Rose Anemone image

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 red at the tips then blends to golden brown at the base.

Similar species:

Urticina piscivora -- Fish-eating anemone
Urticina columbiana -- Sand-rose anemone

Habitat(s):

bay (rocky shore), exposed rocky shore, kelp forest, protected rocky shore
 

Primary common name:

White Spotted Rose Anemone

Synonymous name(s):

Tealia lofotensis

General grouping:

Corals and anemones

ITIS code:

52572
 

Geographic Range

Range Description:

Urticina lofotensis can be found circumpolarly. On the Pacific coast, it is found from Alaska to southern California.

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.

Habitats

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 at least 25 m deep.

Abundance

Relative abundance:

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 found in all members of this order.

Distinctive features:

Urticina lofotensis has a very distinctive smooth scarlet red column with white spots. The tentacles are slender, elongate, and scarlet at the tips but golden or brown at the base. Urticina lofotensis has relatively few verrucae (i.e. bumps) and they are white and in regular longitudinal rows. This species is similar to both the Fish-eating Urticina piscivora and Stubby Rose Anemone Urticina crassicornis, but neither of those species has the vertical rows of white dots along the column, which sets Urticina lofotensis apart.

Size:

Urticina lofotensisís column can grow to about 10 cm 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.

Predator(s):

It is not known if anything feeds on this species. Other anemones are parasitized by small snails that feed on body fluids, but we have not seen such snails on any anemones in the genus Urticina.

Prey:

Urticina lofotensis feeds mostly by catching small prey with its tentacles. In addition to feeding on plankton, Urticina lofotensis opportunistically consumes suspended organic detritus.

Feeding behavior

Omnivore, Sessile suspension feeder

Feeding behavior notes:

Urticina lofotensis is a sessile suspension feeder.

January - December

Reproduction:

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.
Click on an image below to view a larger version in the SIMoN Photo Library. You will also be able to view important information on each photo such as photographer, date, caption and more.
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.