Noncommercial benthic fauna

Eastern Bering Sea


The anemone, Urticina crassicornis

Phylum Cnidaria, class Anthozoa, subclass Zoantharia, order Actiniaria

Species Representatives: Liponema brevicornis, Urticina sp., Metridium sp

Distribution and Life History: The sea anemones are members of the cnidarian Order Actiniaria. They attach to hard substrates including stones and shells. Sea anemones are solitary animals but can form dense concentrations. Metridium reproduces sexually, with gametes fertilized in the water column forming a planula larvae that settles on suitable substrate. It also reproduces asexually by splitting into two pieces in a process called pedal laceration (Wahl, 1985). The anemone Urticina crassicornis is reported to live at least 60 to 80 years (O'Clair and O'Clair, 1998). Some members of the genus Metridium reach a height of 51 cm or more (Barr and Barr, 1983), but most southeastern Bering Sea anemones are less than 10 cm in height. Metridium senile is capable of restricted locomotion, and may also reattach itself after it is detached from the substrate (Wahl, 1985). Metridium is a suspension feeder, its tentacles selectively trapping zooplankton, eggs, and detritus (O'Clair and O'Clair, 1998). Anemones are eaten by nudibranchs and sea stars (O'Clair and O'Clair, 1998).

Liponema brevicornis - A common red or orange anemone of the outer shelf in the SE Bering Sea. It is frequently detached from the substrate by the research trawl. Height to 10 cm.