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Fish-eating anemone

Fish-eating anemone

On Exhibit: Monterey Bay Habitats

Animal Facts

  • Scientific Name

    Urticina piscivora

  • Animal Type


  • Diet

    invertebrates and small fishes

  • Size

    to 8 inches tall (20 cm), 10 inches (25 cm) across

  • Relatives

    hydroids, corals and jellyfishes; phylum Cnidaria

Natural History

While more delicate species rake in bits of food, this anemone has sturdy tentacles that bring down big game like shrimps and small fishes. Like other anemones, they grow larger when food's plentiful and "grow" smaller when food is scarce.


Rocky reefs are important homes for many kinds of fish and invertebrates. But "rockhopper" trawls, used in commercial fishing can leave reefs a tumbled wasteland, not to recover for decades.

Cool Facts

Small fish called painted greenlings sometimes lie in fish-eating anemones, much like clownfish do in tropical anemones.

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