Gorgonia ventalina is carnivourous, feeding on zooplankton, especially at night. A passive feeder, Gorgonia ventalina orients itself in the path of the sea current, so that the current flows past the fan and the zooplankton in the current are caught and eaten. In addition to being a carnivorous passive feeder, G. ventalina also has zooxanthellae, which extensively colonize the sea fan, especially in the epidermis, polyps, and gastrodermal canals and the anthocodial septae. These zooxanthellae, usually Symbiodinium sp., are also able to provide the sea fan with nutrients through its photosynthetic activities.
Animal Foods: aquatic crustaceans; zooplankton
Primary Diet: carnivore (Eats non-insect arthropods); planktivore