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Commonly Asked Questions

Appears in Georgia Aquarium's:
  • Aqualab (Aquanaut Adventure: A Discovery Zone)

Range / Habitat

  • Occurs in the Western Atlantic from North Carolina through the Gulf of Mexico and the Bahamas to the West Indies. Does appear in the Indian River Lagoon.
  • Found around intertidal zones in seagrass meadows, rocky coastlines, sand and shell hash. Depth ranges to 50 feet (15 m).

Physical Characteristics

  • Five arms approximately twice the length of the central disk’s diameter.
  • Thick opaque skin covers dorsal and ventral areas.
  • May be covered in scattered spines.
  • Coloration varies from red-brown to purple, red and yellow-brown. Tube feet are orange.
  • Maximum length of 7 inches (17.8 cm).

Diet / Feeding

  • Omnivorous.

Conservation Status

  • “Not Evaluated” on the IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • One of the most common sea star species in Florida.
  • Very similar to species E. echinophorus, which does not occur in the Indian River Lagoon.
  • Likely attracted to light; seen in the open on sunny days.

Field Guide to Seashore Creatures: National Audubon Society. Pg. 676