Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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Fish-Eating Anemone

Urticina piscivora

The Fish-Eating Anemone is featured with a reddish-orange column topped by an oral disc that is surrounded by short tentacles that are equipped with stinging cells called nematocysts. Each nematocyst contains a barbed, coiled thread that injects the venom used to paralyze and kill prey. The tentacles then turn inward, passing the food to the mouth in the center of the oral disc. The anemone also has a sticky foot at the base of the column which it uses to adhere to substrate and move around. Their size typically ranges from 8-10 inches.

Range & Habitat

Fish-Eating Anemone are found in the cool waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean, from Alaska to California. They are commonly found on rocks from the low intertidal zone to 160 feet deep. 

Conservation Status: Not Evaluated

Although they have not been evaluated; sea anemone populations can be affected by commercial fishing methods which damages habitats and pollutes the water. Other threats are consequences of coastal development and global climate change, warming water temperatures.


Consists of shrimp, invertebrates, and small fish that it captures with its tentacles. 

Life Span

In the Wild: 60-80 years
In Human Care: 60+ years

Fun Facts about the Fish-Eating Anemone

  • When being harassed by predators they inflate themselves, detach, and move along with the current. 
  • The Fish-Eating Anemone grows larger when there is a good food supply and shrinks when food is scarce. 
  • Anything substance the anemone's body cannot digest is thus ejected back out through the mouth.


Aquarium of the Pacific. (Ed.) (2021). Fish-Eating Anemone. Retrieved May 27, 2021 from  

Georgia Aquarium. (Ed.) (2021). Fish-Eating Anemone. Retrieved May 27, 2021 from 

National Marine Sanctuary Foundation(Ed.) (2020). Fish-Eating Anemone. Retrieved May 27, 2021 from 


Updated June 13, 2023
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