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Georgia-Pacific Cold Water Quest

Bat star

Bat star

(Asterina miniata)

The bat star is found among rocks, on sandy sea floors and among surf grass in shallow waters of the Pacific coast from Alaska to Southern California and Northern Mexico. This sea star is easily distinguished by the webbing between its relatively short arms. It can reach a diameter of 8 inches and it exhibits a wide range of colors: reddish-orange, brown, green, purple and pink.

The bat star is preyed upon by other sea stars, mollusks and crustaceans. However, it has a defense mechanism whereby it secretes chemicals that cause a violent escape response in other animals. This often allows it to elude predators.

Be sure to closely examine the bat stars in the touch pool in the Cold Water Quest gallery.

Fun Facts

  • The bat star has a commensal relationship with a marine worm that lives on its surface.
  • This sea star has an unusually long spawning season that lasts most of the year.
  • The bat star is also known as the “webbed star”.
  • As with most sea stars, this species can extrude its stomach through its mouth in order to engulf and digest its prey.
  • The fertilized eggs of this species are frequently used for embryological research.
  • Download full fact sheet

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