Northern Red Sea Anemone
Scientific name: Urticina felina
Description: The Northern Red Anemone has a smooth, deep-red to purplish column with short, thick tentacles. The tentacles usually have 1-2 dark rings on it, but colour can be variable.
Distribution: Found inter-tidally from Casco Bay, Maine to the subarctic.
Locomotion: Moves slowly along surfaces with its pedal disk.
Food gathering: Feeds on live or dead animals from small plankton to fish. It catches food using its tentacles that are heavily armed with stinging cells (nematocysts) and then brings the food toward the mouth. Sea anemones have a gastrovascular cavity (GVC) which digests and distributes food and oxygen to the body. Uneaten parts are expelled through the mouth.
Gas exchange: Gas exchange and excretion occur across the internal and external body surfaces by diffusion.
Reproduction: Reproduces asexually by longitudinal fission (splitting in two). It reproduces sexually when males and females release sperm and egg into the water and the eggs are fertilized.
Interesting facts: Acontia are long threads that hang freely in the GVC but can be shot out through the mouth or pores in the body wall when the animal contacts. This serves as a defensive role.
Mercier Lab - Research on reproduction, larval development, ecology and growth is carried out on a wide variety of marine invertebrates in this lab.