Urticina columbiana (Verrill, 1922)

Common name(s):  Crusty red anemone, columbia sand anemone, sand anemone, sand rose anemone

Synonyms: Urticina columbiana
Phylum Cnidaria 
Subclass Zoantharia (Hexacorallia)
Suborder Nynantheae 
Infraorder Thenaria 
Family Actiniidae 
Urticina columbiana, photographed August 2010 at Monterey Bay Aquarium
(Photo by: Dave Cowles )

Description: As with other Urticina, the column of this species has tubercles but no acontia.  There are no special spherules (acrorhagia) around the outside rim of the oral disk outside the tentacles. Urticina columbiana is a large anemone with long slender tentacles and a red column.  The large, rough white tubercles on the column do not attach to and accumulate bits of shell and other debris.  The tubercles are arranged in circular rows around the column.  Height to 25 cm, diameter to 1 m.

How to Distinguish from Similar Species:Urticina lofotensis also has a red column with white tubercles but it is a smaller anemone with tubercles smooth and arranged in vertical rows. Urticina piscivora and Urticina crassicornis may have a red column but do not have white tubercles and do not generally live in the sand.

Geographical Range: Vancouver Island to Baja California

Depth Range: Subtidal down to 45 m

Habitat: This species usually lives partly buried in soft bottoms of sand, mud, or shells.

Biology/Natural History:  This species can grow to be one of the largest anemones in the world.  Usually it is partially buried in the sand (so the tubercles on the column  are usually mostly buried and not visible unless the anemone is partly excavated)  Symbionts include the candy stripe shrimp Lebbeus grandimanus.



Dichotomous Keys:
  Kozloff, 1987, 1996

General References:
  Harbo, 1999
  Lamb and Hanby, 2005

Scientific Articles:

Web sites:

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

Authors and Editors of Page:
Dave Cowles (2010):  Created original page
CSS coding for page developed by Jonathan Cowles (2007)

Rosario Invertebrates web site provided courtesy of Walla Walla University