Diameter of base up to at least 200 mm, span of tentacles to 300 mm.
Base not much wider than the column, firmly adherent. Column usually about equal in height and diameter or a little taller, with a prominent parapet and deep fosse; slightly softer in texture than Urticina felina. Verrucae numerous but unobtrusive, often not raised above the surface of the scapus, small - usually less than 2 mm diameter, sometimes larger in the parapet region where they tend to form longitudinal rows. They are non-adhesive, never having gravel stuck to them.
Tentacles: Tentacles stout, moderate in length, arranged decamerously in five, sometimes six, cycles, up to 200 or more.
Colouration: Colouration less variable than Urticina felina, usually brighter and more translucent. Column dirty white, pink, yellowish, red or orange, the paler forms usually blotched with red or orange. Verrucae forming whitish spots which may be obscure on the pale varieties. Disc and tentacles similar to column, rarely grey, brown or magenta; the disc typically with a pattern of red lines similar to Urticina felina, tentacles fairly translucent, banded or plain.
Typically sublittoral, occurring down to at least 400 m, but in some areas may be found on the shore at LWST, attached to rocks and shells, etc. On soft substrata it is frequently found attached to the inside of an empty bivalve shell (Pecten, Arctica, etc.) lying loose on the bottom.
Frequent on all British coasts but possibly absent from the English channel; widespread throughout northern Europe and may well be circumpolar in range.