Painted Anemone

Mottled Anemone, Green and Red Anemone, Christmas Anemone

Painted Anemone, Urticina grebelnyi, Mottled Anemone, Green and Red Anemone, Christmas AnemoneUrticina grebelnyi

The Painted Anemone sets itself apart from its relatives by its paint brush coloring, but also by its column characteristics and a very large size!

The Painted Anemone Urticina grebelnyi can provide a beautiful addition to a large cold water tank. But reaching up to 19.5" tall (50 cm) and almost 10" (25 cm) in diameter, these are obviously not for nano tanks. When caring for this anemone, using similar husbandry as you would for other cold water anemones is suggested. It is a good idea to invest in a chiller before you obtain one of these anemones.

A few species of Urticina anemones have very festive colors, and at first glance they look very similar to one another. The Painted Anemone Urticina grebelnyi is one of these. Its similar looking relatives include the Christmas Anemone Urticina crassicornis and the Dahlia Anemone Urticina felina.

The Painted Anemone was previously classified as the Christmas Anemone, so most references on the internet list it as U. crassicornis. However, it was reclassified to U. grebelnyi in 2006.

Some common names are often used interchangeably for these fancy anemones, including Mottled Anemone, Painted Urticina, Northern Red Anemone, Painted Tealia, Red and Green Anemone, Northern Red Anemone, Dahlia Anemone, and Thick-petaled Rose Anemone. But there is usually one generally accepted common name for each species and each one has its own unique characteristics to identify it by.

On the Painted Anemone the color is distinctive. It looks like someone took a paint brush and made sloppy splotches on the pedal column in green and red, thus the name. Other unique characteristics include a column with bumpy non-adhesive vesicles along with its place of origin and its large size. The vesicles on the Painted Anemone are clearly visible on the column and non-adhesive, whereas the column of the Christmas Anemone U. crassicornis is completely smooth and the column of the Dahlia Anemone U. felina has strongly adhesive verrucae.

Like all anemones, these Green and Red 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 the Painted Anemone can be certain nudibranchs, sea stars, and snails.

For more facts about Urticina Sea Anemones, see:
Nettle Anemones


Pet Supply Comparison Shopping
Painted Anemone - Quick Aquarium Care
  • Minimum Tank Size: 50 gal (189 L)
  • Aquarist Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Temperature: 59.0 to 72.0° F (15.0 to 22.2° C)
  • Diet Type: Carnivore
  • Suitable for Nano Tank: No

Habitat: Distribution / Background

Sea Anemone Facts: The Painted Anemone Urticina grebelnyi was was described by Sanamyan and Sanamyan in 2006, previously described as U. crassicornis by Müller in 1776. The Urticina genus is a member of the Actiniidae family and this genus contains approximately 6 species. Some other common names they are known by are Christmas Anemone, Mottled Anemone, and Green and Red Anemone. The Urticina grebelnyi is not on the IUCN Red List for endangered species.

Where are Sea Anemones Found: The U. grebelnyi are found in cold waters of the north western Pacific Ocean..

Sea Anemone Habitat: Painted Anemones found in areas of shallow tidal pools and mid-tidal areas. They like to hang out under ledges, in crevices of rocks, or the sides of rocks. They are found solitary in small groups, all the way up to full colonies that form "carpets".

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. Many species will retract their tentacles and close up if the water is sparse during low tides.They eat sea urchins, small fish, crabs, and mussels.

  • Scientific Name: Urticina grebelnyi
  • IUCN Red List: NE - Not Evaluated or not listed

Description

Appearance of a Sea Anemone: Mottled Anemones are commonly confused with U. crassicornis or the Christmas anemones, but each has distinct characteristics. The Painted Anemone has a clearly visible, non-adhesive vesicles on the pedal column, while the column of the Christmas Anemone is completely smooth. The Painted Anemone's pedal column has patches of green, or red and yellow. The patches vary in size, with some being more green or more red depending on the individual anemone. Thus the common name Green and Red Anemone.

It has a foot at the bottom of the pedal column that it uses to adhere to various surfaces. They also use this "foot" to move around if conditions are not ideal. They can also move by inflating themselves, detaching from the surface, and then rolling along with any current. They will move to avoid predators like starfish, but in the aquarium they move primarily if they are unhappy with the water conditions or the food.

 Depending on the size, there are up to 200 tentacles on this anemone. They are arranged on the margin or outside edge of the oral disc. The outer tentacles reach 1.5" to 2" (4 - 5 cm) long. The ones in the center are shorter and only reach 0.38" (1 cm) long.

The oral disc is usually plain brown, pale yellowish green, or pale lilac with an open area around the mouth. The tentacles are the same color as the oral disc, yet in the middle of each tentacle is a red, brown or lilac band. 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 U. grebelnyi takes food in and expels waste through this same opening.

Sea Anemones Life Cycles: Green and REd Anemones can grow to almost 10" (25 cm) in diameter across the oral disc and stand from 8.7"- 19.5"(20 - 50 cm) in height. 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.

  • Size of organizm - inches: - They can grow to almost 10" (25 cm) in diameter across the oral disc and stand from 8.7"- 19.5" (20 - 50 cm) in height.
  • Lifespan: - 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 Painted Anemone can be moderate to difficult to care for because they do have specific lighting needs and must be in cold water. As with most anemones, the tank should be at least 1 year old and stable before adding your new Northern Red Anemone.

These cold water anemones need more specific care than tropical anemones and need perfect treatment from the start. When selecting a U. grebelnyi 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 a Mottled Anemone from another aquarium, use a thin blunt item like a credit card, and gently wiggle it under the foot, slowly nudging it away from the glass. If it's attached to a rock, ideally you can simply purchase the rock as well. On a rock, it would be very wise to purchase the rock, because these guys can stick hard and would probably be damaged if removed. 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.

  • Aquarium Hardiness: Moderately Difficult
  • Aquarist Experience Level: Intermediate

Foods and Feeding

What Do Sea Anemones Eat: The Painted Anemone is a carnivore. Feed your U. grebelnyi 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, because cold water anemones have much slower metabolisms.

  • Diet Type: Carnivore
  • Meaty Food: All of Diet - They can be fed chopped silversides, shrimp, krill, and mussels, fresh chopped fish (from your grocery store), as well as frozen carnivore preparations.
  • Feeding Frequency: Weekly - Feed once a week or twice a month.

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 Green and Red 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.

  • Water Changes: Bi-weekly
  • Iodine Levels: - Additions of Iodine and and trace elements are suggested.

Aquarium Setup

The typical reef environment is what is needed for your Painted Anemone, but it must be a cold water reef. It is a good idea to invest in a chiller before you obtain one of these guys. 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.

  • Minimum Tank Size: 50 gal (189 L)
  • Suitable for Nano Tank: No
  • Live Rock Requirement: Typical Amount
  • Substrate Type: Any
  • Lighting Needs: High - Strong lighting - Moderate to high. Coming from shallow waters in the wild, these anemones will do their best with stronger lighting.
  • Temperature: 59.0 to 72.0° F (15.0 to 22.2° C)
  • Specific gravity: 1.023-1.025 SG
  • Water Movement: Moderate - Moderate to strong.
  • Water Region: Bottom

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, such as corals and other invertebrates. They do not host clowns, and would likely eat one if it decided to use poor judgment and attempted to be hosted. Anemones will move if your lighting is not good, or if the water quality is not to their liking.

After splitting, these 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".

  • Venomous: Yes
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Compatible with:
    • Same species - conspecifics: Sometimes
    • Anemones: Monitor
    • Mushroom Anemones - Corallimorphs: Monitor
    • Leather Corals: Monitor
    • Shrimps, Crabs, Snails: Monitor
    • Starfish: Monitor
    • Crabs: Monitor
    • Urchins, Sand Dollars: Monitor

Sex: Sexual differences

No sexual difference in appearance is known.

Breeding / Reproduction

The Painted Anemone should divide in captivity, but there is no information on propagation of cold water anemones. It may be just like other anemones. Similar to other cold water anemones, they reproduce by fission or external fertilization of egg and sperm. When they spawn, they produce larvae that will float away, and eventually find a spot to land. They then attach and develop a pedal disk that grows into a new anemone.

  • Ease of Breeding: Unknown

Ailments / Diseases

Problems for the Mottled Anemone are pretty minimal unless your lighting, water movement, feeding, and water quality are low. Then your anemone will detach to look for "better conditions." In general, if your anemone moves, it is not happy. Make sure your lighting and water quality is good, and that the food you are offering is to their liking. Some predators include certain nudibranchs, sea stars, and snails.

Availability

Buy A Sea Anemone: The Painted Anemone is generally unavailable to aquarists through retailers.

References



Author: Clarice Brough CFS, Carrie McBirney

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