• Size

    20 inches (50 cm)
  • Diet

    Invertebrates: small snails, limpets, clams, scallops, barnacles and tunicates
  • Range

    Aleutian Islands south to central California
  • Habitat

    Mud, sand and kelp in the very low intertidal zone on shaded rock surfaces

Physical Characteristics

  • 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.

Animal Fact

Rainbow sea stars can dig out clams from the rocky ocean bottom

Diet / Feeding

  • 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.

Range / Habitat

  • 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.

Reproduction & Growth

  • Spawning occurs June to August.

Additional Information

  • May perform limb regeneration if center disc is still intact.

Sources

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