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The mottled sea star can be found in a variety of colors, such as gray, blue-gray, greenish, brown, orange, reddish and pale purple.
  • Size

    22 inches (56 cm)
  • Diet

    Invertebrates, including bivalves, limpets, snails, brachiopods, barnacles, and tunicates
  • Range

    Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea through south and central California
  • Habitat

    Rocks and cobbles and in eel grass beds, as well as occasionally on sand, docks and pilings

Physical Characteristics

  • Has a small central disk and narrow arms. Can reach a diameter of about 22 inches (56 cm).
  • Color is highly variable: gray, blue-gray, greenish, brown, orange, reddish and pale purple. Margins of its arms are frequently a different shade than the upper surface.

Animal Fact

The mottled sea star may perform limb regeneration if center disc is still intact.

Diet / Feeding

  • Diet consists of a range of invertebrates, including bivalves, limpets, snails, brachiopods, barnacles, and tunicates.
  • Can invert its stomach up to one-half the length of one arm.

Range / Habitat

  • Occurs from the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea through south and central California, though uncommon south of Puget Sound.
  • Found on most substrates in the low intertidal and subtidal zones down to 70 feet (21 m). In particular, appears on rocks and cobbles and in eel grass beds, as well as occasionally on sand, docks and pilings.

Reproduction & Growth

  • Spawning occurs from April to June.

Conservation Status

  • “Not Evaluated” on the IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • Preyed upon by gulls and other sea stars.
  • Most abundant and large sea star in the Juneau, Alaska area.
  • In Alaska, young king crabs are often found nestled between the arms of the mottled sea star.
  • May perform limb regeneration if center disc is still intact.

Sources

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