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Commonly Asked Questions

Appears in Georgia Aquarium's:
  • Cold Water Touch Pool (Cold Water Quest)

Range / Habitat

  • Occurs from the Aleutian Islands south to central California.
  • Found on mud, sand and kelp in the very low intertidal zone on shaded rock surfaces.

Physical Characteristics

  • Can reach 20 inches (50 cm) in diameter.
  • Has a small disk with slender arms. Its upper surface has prominent sharp spines.
  • Characterized by vivid colors ranging from rosy pink with grey to bright red mottling, or banded in yellow. Spines are whitish or lilac colored.

Diet / Feeding

  • Diet consists of a wide variety of invertebrates: small snails, limpets, clams, scallops, barnacles and tunicates.
  • Can dig clams out from a cobbled (stony) ocean bottom. Uses its arms to pry open the two halves of the clam’s shell just enough to allow the sea star to insert its stomach inside the shell. Stomach then releases juices dissolving the clam tissue absorbed by the stomach.

Reproduction / Growth

  • Spawning occurs June to August.

Conservation Status

  • “Not Evaluated” on the IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • May perform limb regeneration if center disc is still intact.

Sources

www.afsc.noaa.gov 
www.racerocks.com/racerock/eco