Urticina piscivora (Sebens and Laakso, 1977)

Common name(s): Fish-eating anemone, Fish-eating Urticina

 Tealia sp.
Phylum Cnidaria
 Class Anthozoa
  Subclass Zoantharia
   Order Actiniara (anemones)
    Family Actiniidae
Urticina piscivora in a deep tidepool, Cape Flattery, WA.  Diameter 10 cm or more.
(Photo by: Dave Cowles, July 2004)
Description:  This large anemone (height up to 20 cm and diameter up to 10 cm) has a bright red column with tubercles but no acontia.  The tubercles (which are in circumferential rows and not white) usually do not accumulate sand, shells, or other debris.

How to Distinguish from Similar Species: Urticina crassicornis also may have a red column but it is common intertidally, usually has transverse bands on its tentacles, and the column often has olive green blotches.

Geographical Range: Alaska to La Jolla, CA

Depth Range: Nearly always subtidal

Habitat: Usually on a rocky prominence where there is a fair amount of current.

Biology/Natural History: This species actually captures shrimp and small fish.  One fish species, however, the painted greenling (Oxylebius pictus), has been observed lying unharmed in this anemone much as clownfish do in tropical anemones.

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Dichotomous Keys:
  Kozloff 1987, 1996

General References:

Scientific Articles:

Some nice photos can be found at:
 and at http://www.waterworksdesign.net/uwphotos2.html

General Notes and Observations:  Locations, abundances, unusual behaviors:

This species can be found on rocky prominences subtidally off Sares Head.  It is unusual to find it in a deep tidepool such as the individual in the picture above.

Another view of the same individual as above.  Photo by Dave Cowles

The same individual from a different angle and a different year (2010).  Photo by Dave Cowles

Authors and Editors of Page:
Dave Cowles (2005):  Created original page