Stomphia coccinea (O. F. Muller, 1776)

Common name(s): Spotted swimming anemone

Phylum Cnidarea
 Class Anthozoa
   Subclass Zoantharia
    Order Actiniaria
     Family Actinostolidae
Stomphia coccinea, about 5 cm diameter, from 100 m trawl in San Juan Channel
(Photo by: Dave Cowles August 2005)
Description:  This subtidal anemone has no acontia, no tubercles on the column wall, column wall is white, or white with orange streaks; tentacles orange with white spots at their bases.  Column not more than 3 cm high and not much higher than wide, if any.  (Another source says height and diameter may be 7 cm)

How to Distinguish from Similar Species:  Stomphia didemon grows larger and has a cream to orange column.

Note:  This species looks different from photos of Stomphia coccinea from the North Atlantic.  I think it is likely a different species.

Geographical Range:  Widespread in temperate and arctic regions of northern hemisphere; including Pacific and Atlantic

Depth Range:

Habitat:  We found it on a bottom of sand with shelly hash

Biology/Natural History:  This anemone is usually attached to shells of the horse mussel, Modiolus modiolus.  The anemone above was originally attached to a mussel shell but has moved to a scallop shell.  This species will detach and swim away from predators such as the leather star Dermasterias imbricata.

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Dichotomous Keys:
  Kozloff 1987, 1996

General References:

  Harbo, 1999

Scientific Articles:

Web sites:

General Notes and Observations:  Locations, abundances, unusual behaviors:

Authors and Editors of Page:
Dave Cowles (2005):  Created original page