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Commonly Asked Questions

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

Range / Habitat

  • Occurs in the Indo Pacific, particularly the Philippines.
  • Found on coral reefs and in seagrass beds to depths of about 100 feet (33 m).

Physical Characteristics

  • Coloration ranges from ivory and pale shades of yellow and pink to red-brown, with dark, pointed projections arranged regularly along the arms and central disk.
  • Body is heavy, arms are thick and tapering.
  • Tube-feet range in color from pale pink or lavender to violet.
  • Reaches 16 inches (40 cm) across.

Diet / Feeding

  • Diet consists of sponges and detritus. Will consume both plant and animal material.
  • Mouth is located ventrally. The chocolate ship sea star eats by extending its stomach out of its mouth, covering food, and digesting it externally.

Reproduction / Growth

  • Reproduce by broadcast spawning: males and females release sperm and eggs directly into the water.

Conservation Status

  • “Not Evaluated” on the IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • Also called “knobbly sea star” and the “horned sea star.”
  • Like all sea stars, the chocolate chip sea star can regenerate lost limbs, as long as the central disk of the body is intact. Rare specimens have been found with four or six arms instead of the usual five.

Reef Creature Identification, Tropical Pacific. Humann, P. and Deloach, N.
Invertebrates, 2nd Edition. Brusca, R.C., and Brusca, G.J.