Size20 inches (50 cm)
DietInvertebrates: small snails, limpets, clams, scallops, barnacles and tunicates
RangeAleutian Islands south to central California
HabitatMud, sand and kelp in the very low intertidal zone on shaded rock surfaces
- 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.
Rainbow sea stars can dig out clams from the rocky ocean bottom.
- 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.
- 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.
- Spawning occurs June to August.
- “Not Evaluated” on the IUCN Red List.
- May perform limb regeneration if center disc is still intact.