Authors & emails

Urticina crassicornis (O.F. Mueller, 1776)

(photos of Piotr Balazy, Poland: specimens from West Spitsbergen Island)
Urticina crassicornis

Urticina crassicornis

Urticina crassicornis

Urticina crassicornis

Urticina crassicornis is a common species widely distributed in North Pacific and in northern seas.

Edit [01 December 2020]: Urticina crassicornis does not occur in North Pacific, a smooth-walled species of Urticina from North Pacific identified previously as Urticina crassicornis is now separated into a distinct species, see Urticina timuri

Many photos in the Internet labeled Urticina crassicornis (or Tealia crassicornis) are wrongly identified and show another Pacific species: Urticina grebelnyi (known also as Christmas anemone or Painted anemone). Two species have nothing in common and it is hard to understand why and how they can be confused.

The most important distinguishing features of Urticina crassicornis are: 1) viviparity - juveniles are developed in the coelenteron of parent anemone to a polypoid stage and 2) smooth column (body) - see photos below: is shows no any traces of large tubercles or vesicles we see on many photos labeled Christmas anemone or Painted anemone. Christmas or Painted anemone is covered by numerous vesicles, vesicles are especially clearly visible on contracted specimens. These two species have different color pattern. Christmas anemone is NOT an Urticina crassicornis, but belongs to another species: Urticina grebelnyi. The only other Urticina species which has absolutely smooth column is Urticina timuri from Pacific, but it is oviparous (releases eggs to water column rather than incubates juvenile anemones).

The typical specimens of Urticina crassicornis are up to 10 cm high and with a tentacular crown up to 10 cm diameter and the column about 6-7 cm diameter. The color is variable, although most specimens range from plain reddish-brown to pale orange. The column is smooth, without traces of verrucae or vesicles, always clear, without attached sand or other foreign particles. The oral disk is much paler than the column, usually yellowish or whitish. Short thin red radial bands outline the tentacle bases; the region around the mouth may be reddish, otherwise the colour of the oral disk is plain. The tentacles are encircled with the wide white and red bands in the middle.


Recent revision of Urticina species:
SANAMYAN N.P., SANAMYAN K.E., 2006. The genera Urticina and Cribrinopsis (Anthozoa: Actiniaria) from the North-Western Pacific. Journal of Natural History, 40(7-8): 359-393.

Sanamyan N.P., Sanamyan K.E., Mercier A., Hamel J.F., Bocharova E.S., 2020. Morphological and molecular assessment of large sea anemones (Actiniaria: Actiniidae) in Newfoundland (eastern Canada). Polar Biology, 43, pages495509(2020),

Phylum Cnidaria
Class Anthozoa
Order Actiniaria

Family Actiniidae

Species list of sea anemones:
  • Acricoactis brachyacontis
  • Actinernus robustus
  • Actinia equina
  • Actinodendron sp
  • Actinostella bradleyi
  • Actinostephanus haeckeli
  • Actinostola chilensis
  • Actinothoe sphyrodeta
  • Adamsia palliata
  • Aiptasia couchii
  • Aiptasia mutabilis
  • Alicia mirabilis
  • Alicia sansibarensis
  • Allantactis parasitica
  • Amplexidiscus fenestrafer
  • Andresia parthenopea
  • Anemonia alicemartinae
  • Anemonia viridis
  • Antholoba achates
  • Anthopleura elegantissima
  • Anthopleura hermaphroditica
  • Anthopleura orientalis
  • Anthopleura sola
  • Anthopleura xanthogrammica
  • Anthothoe chilensis
  • Armactinia antarctica
  • Artemidactis victrix
  • Aulactinia vancouverensis
  • Aulactinia vladimiri
  • Bathyphellia margaritacea
  • Boloceroides mcmurrichi
  • Boloceropsis platei
  • Bunodactis verrucosa
  • Calliactis polypus
  • Cancrisocia expansa
  • Cereus herpetodes
  • Cereus pedunculatus
  • Cerianthus lloydii
  • Charisea saxicola
  • Cnidopus japonicus
  • Condylactis aurantiaca
  • Condylactis gigantea
  • Corallimorphus karinae
  • Corallimorphus pilatus
  • Corynactis californica
  • Corynactis carnea
  • Corynactis viridis
  • Cribrinopsis albopunctata
  • Cribrinopsis crassa
  • Cribrinopsis fernaldi
  • Cribrinopsis olegi
  • Cribrinopsis rubens
  • Cribrinopsis similis
  • Cryptodendrum adhaesivum
  • Cylista elegans
  • Dactylanthus antarcticus
  • Diadumene lineata
  • Discosoma nummiforme
  • Dofleinia armata
  • Edwardsia inachi
  • Edwardsiella loveni
  • Entacmaea quadricolor
  • Epiactis prolifera
  • Epizoanthus couchii
  • Epizoanthus fiordicus
  • Exaiptasia diaphana
  • Glyphoperidium bursa
  • Gonactinia prolifera
  • Gyractis octoradiata
  • Halcampa arctica
  • Halcampoides sp
  • Halcampoides mediterranea
  • Halcurias pilatus
  • Heteractis aurora
  • Heterodactyla hemprichii
  • Hormathia lacunifera
  • Hormathia nodosa
  • Hormathia pacifica
  • Hormathia pectinata
  • Hormosoma scotti
  • Isaurus tuberculatus
  • Isoparactis fabiani
  • Isoparactis fionae
  • Isosicyonis alba
  • Korsaranthus natalensis
  • Liponema brevicorne
  • Macrodactyla doreensis
  • Megacorynactis giganteus
  • Megalactis griffithsi
  • Mesozoanthus fossii
  • Metridium farcimen
  • Metridium lobatum
  • Metridium senile
  • Metridium senile fimbriatum
  • Nemanthus sp
  • Octineon suecicum
  • Ophiodiscus bukini
  • Ophiodiscus moskalevi
  • Oulactis concinnata
  • Pachycerianthus multiplicatus
  • Pachycerianthus solitarius
  • Paracalliactis involvens
  • Paracondylactis sinensis
  • Paraedwardsia malakhovi
  • Paraisanthus tamarae
  • Paranthus niveus
  • Parazoanthus anguicomus
  • Parazoanthus axinellae
  • Parazoanthus elongatus
  • Peachia cylindrica
  • Phellia exlex
  • Phelliactis callicyclus
  • Phyllodiscus semoni
  • Phymactis papillosa
  • Phymanthea pluvia
  • Phymanthus crucifer
  • Phymanthus species
  • Platyzoanthus mussoides
  • Protanthea simplex
  • Protopalythoa mutuki
  • Pseudocorynactis caribbeorum
  • Ptychodactis aleutiensis
  • Ptychodactis patula
  • Radianthus crispa
  • Radianthus magnifica
  • Radianthus malu
  • Rhodactis inchoata
  • Rhodactis indosinensis
  • Ricordea yuma
  • Sagartia lacerata
  • Sagartia undata
  • Sagartiogeton californicus
  • Sagartiogeton rufus
  • Sicyonis denisovi
  • Sicyonis heliodiscus
  • Sicyonis kuznetsovi
  • Spongiactis japonica
  • Stichodactyla gigantea
  • Stichodactyla haddoni
  • Stichodactyla tapetum
  • Stomphia coccinea
  • Tealidium konoplinorum
  • Telmatactis sp
  • Triactis producta
  • Urticina clandestina
  • Urticina columbiana
  • Urticina crassicornis
  • Urticina eques
  • Urticina fecunda
  • Urticina felina
  • Urticina grebelnyi
  • Urticina kurila
  • Urticina mcpeaki
  • Urticina timuri
  • Verrillactis paguri
  • Zaolutus actius

  • Copyright © 2004 - 2024, K. & N. Sanamyan, D. Schories