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Members of the Sagartia and Sagatiogeton families are not easily identified from pictures alone. S. ornata does not have dark stripes on the column, like Sagartiogeton laceratus. The column is widest basally, reaching a diameter of 15 mm. The translucent oral disc comes in shades of white, orange and brown. There are as many as four or five circles of long, white tentacles. The color usually comes in shades of green or brown. Around the mouth there are series of light spots and similar colored bands on the tentacles.

It was previously considered to be the same species as S. troglodytes, but genetic studies has proven that these are indeed different species.


It is often seen in the intertidal and subtidal zone, on rocky substrate, preferably under rocks, in crevices or among mussels.


The distribution is somewhat uncertain, due to the earlier confusion with Sagartia troglodytes. It is widespread around the British Isles and along the south coast of Norway.