The trophic ecology and seasonal changes in the diet of the intertidal hydrozoan Tubularia crocea were studied analysing the enteron contents of hydranths collected each season of the year. The relationship between feeding rate, prey availability, and re-suspension processes caused by tidal currents was also assessed. The most prevalent food items were diatoms and crustaceans. The most remarkable differences occurred during summer, when crustaceans were more abundant than diatoms. Conversely, diatoms were the most abundant prey during other seasons, and they were almost the only prey found during winter. There was no relationship between abundances of primary prey items in the water column and their occurrences in stomach contents. Instead, most prey items consisted of benthic organisms, primarily two species of diatoms (Grammatophora marina and Licmophora abreviatta) and fragments (usually appendages) of the amphipods Caprella sp. and Jassa falcata. Most food items were digested within 4–4·5 hours. The mean number of items captured per polyp per day was determined to be 115·2±19·2 in summer, 93·6±14·4 in autumn, 76·8±21·6 in winter and 199·2±31·2 in spring. Prey biomass (dry weight) polyp−1 d−1 was 5·1 μg in summer, 2·3 μg in autumn, 1·8 μg in winter, and 6·3 μg in spring. These values, in relation to hydranth biomass (55·3 μg; dry weight), were equivalent to a food intake polyp−1 d−1 of 9·3%, 4·2%, 3·2% and 11·5% of its own weight, respectively.