White Spotted Rose Anemone

March 10, 2013 by  

White Spotted Rose Anemone, The White-spotted Rose Anemone Urticina lofotensis, also known as the Strawberry Anemone, is very handsome. It is a colorful anemone with a distinct red pedal column decorated with many white dots. Its unique and attractive coloring also makes it one of the easiest of the sea anemones to identify. A couple other common names it is know by are the White-Spotted Anemone and the Tealia Anemone.

These anemones are generally found alone or in small groupings. They attach to shaded rocks along rocky sand covered shore lines and in tide pools. Like all anemones, they are carnivorous, feasting on sea urchins, small fish, crabs, and mussels that happen by.

Although not much information has been written about the White-spotted Rose Anemone, using similar husbandry for other cold water anemones is suggested. It is fairly small, only growing to about 6″ (15 cm) in diameter. A handsome anemone, this is a great addition to a cold water reef tank.

Like all anemones, the Strawberry Anemones use their venomous cells or nematocysts found in their tentacles to sting and deflect any possible threats or attacks. But they mostly utilize them for stunning and capturing prey. Some predators of this anemone can be certain nudibranchs, sea stars, and snails.

Sea Anemone Facts: The White-Spotted Anemone was described by Danielssen in 1890 as Urticina lofotensis, and this is widely used at present. However, according to a recent revision by Sanamyan & Sanamyan in 2006, it is now described as Cribrinopsis albopunctata. The Urticina genus is a member of the Actiniidae family.The White-Spotted Rose Anemone is not on the IUCN Red List for endangered species.

The first scientific designation, Urticina lofotensis, is said to be an invalid name because it was originally applied to a very different European species, one that is currently known as Urticina eques. This European species is very different in its appearance, with no external resemblance to the Pacific anemone. Some other common names the White-Spotted Rose Anemone is known for is White-Spotted Anemone, Strawberry Anemone, and Tealia Anemone.

Where are Sea Anemones Found: This anemone is found in the eastern Pacific along the coast of California up to Alaska.

Sea Anemone Habitat: Tealia Anemones are located in colder subtidal waters. They are found solitary or in small groupings, attached to shaded rocks along rocky sand covered shore lines and in tide pools. They use their venomous cells or nematocysts found in their tentacles to sting and deflect any possible threats or attacks, but they mostly utilize them for stunning and capturing prey. This cold water anemone feasts on sea urchins, small fish, crabs, and mussels. Some predators include certain nudibranchs, sea stars, and snails.


Appearance of a Sea Anemone: The Strawberry Anemone has a red to orange cylindrical pedal column with distinct white dots all over. The pedal column has a sticky foot at the bottom which they use to adhere to various surfaces. They also use this “foot” to move around if conditions are not ideal. The color is brown, or reddish brown to orange, and they have distinctive white spots on their foot.

They have sturdy tentacles that are in 5 or more rows, with the mouth being in the center. The tentacles are usually light gray, white, red, or orange, and a combination of those can be on each tentacle. The tentacles are thicker at the base and are thinner toward the top with a little “bulbous” tip. The oral disc and mouth are lighter in color. The mouth should be closed and tight, and will open when hungry, having an oval look, yet a gaping mouth is a warning signal. The White-Spotted Anemone takes food in and expels waste through this same opening.

Sea Anemones Life Cycles: White-Spotted Rose Anemones can grow up to 6″ (15 cm) in diameter. It is unknown how long they live, in fact some anemones can be hundreds of years old in the wild, and in captivity have been known to last 80 years or more.

Difficulty of Care

Sea Anemone Care: The White-Spotted Anemone is very rarely available to aquarists from a retailer. These anemones can be difficult to care for because they must be kept in cold water. As with most anemones, the tank should be at least 1 year old and stable before adding your new Strawberry Anemone.

When selecting a White-Spotted Rose Anemone, make sure the color is good, their mouth is not gaping open, and their foot and tentacles are sticky to the touch. Also, they should be attached to something and make sure there is no damage to the foot area, often a result of pulling the anemone off its surface.

To take one of these anemones from another aquarium, use a thin blunt item like a credit card, gently wiggle it under the foot, and slowly nudge it away from the glass. If it’s attached to a rock, ideally you can simply purchase the rock as well. If you cannot purchase the rock then directing water at it or wiggling the rock gently upside down under water while tickling the foot can work.

Foods and Feeding

What Do Sea Anemones Eat: The White-Spotted Rose Anemone is a carnivore. Feed your anemone chopped silversides, shrimp, krill, and mussels, fresh chopped fish (from your grocery store), as well as frozen carnivore preparations. Feed once a week or twice a month, since cold water anemones have much slower metabolisms.

Aquarium Care

Water changes of 10% bi-monthly or 20% a month are typical. Monitor your water quality for your particular situation and adjust your water changes accordingly. An average sized White-Spotted Anemone is equal to about one fish as far as waste production is concerned. Purigen and Poly-fiber are great products to help in maintaining water quality. Purigen is a synthetic polymer that removes soluble and insoluble impurities from water at an exceptionally high rate and capacity, helping to control ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. Additions of Iodine and and trace elements are suggested.

Aquarium Setup

The typical reef environment is what is needed for your Tealia Anemone, but it must be a cold water reef. They need live rock or some other solid material they can attach to. Provide some rock crevices as well as rocky overhangs. Be sure to have all of your pumps covered. Most good quality pumps have guards on them and are worth the investment.

Social Behaviors

All anemones are semi-aggressive because they can be mobile, although most of the cold water anemones stay still if their needs are met. It has often been suggested to not put anemones in a reef environment because corals cannot move away from the stinging tentacles. Once you have your anemone situated and it has not moved for several months, it might be safe to add other corals. Just keep in mind these anemones will sting everything they can reach, like corals and other invertebrates. Anemones will move if your lighting is not good, or the water quality is not to their liking.

After splitting, anemones will tolerate their own “clones” and sometimes their own species. All anemones in the tank need to have their own space, otherwise there can be a “chemical” warfare between species. This will usually cause one to not eat, shrink and eventually die. Having excellent filtration and a large tank will usually allow 2 anemones at opposite ends to thrive. You can also build a natural blockade to help prevent them from wandering into each others “space”.

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