One of the most common sea star species in Florida, Caribbean spiny sea stars occur in the western Atlantic from North Carolina through the Gulf of Mexico to the Bahamas and the West Indies. Coloration for this omnivorous species varies from red-brown to purple, red and yellow-brown. Tube feet are orange
  • Size

    7 inches (17.8 cm)
  • Diet

    Omnivorous
  • Range

    Western Atlantic from North Carolina through the Gulf of Mexico and the Bahamas to the West Indies
  • Habitat

    Intertidal zones in seagrass meadows, rocky coastlines, sand and shell hash

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).

Animal Fact

It is likely that Caribbean spiny sea stars are attracted to light; they can be seen out in the open on sunny days

Diet / Feeding

  • Omnivorous.

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).

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.

Sources

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