Sea Stars Of The Pacific North West

Class Asteroidea
Order Velatida
Family Solasteridae

NORTHERN SUN STAR

Solaster endeca

Identification:
7 to 13 (usually 9 to 11) fairly short, sharply tapering arms. Disc broad and thick. Aboral surface red or orange, often with a darker stripe down each arm. To 40 cm (16 in); but usually smaller, to 20 cm (7.9 in) in the PNW.

Range:
Circumboreal. In the North Atlantic to Great Britain and Cape Cod. In the North Pacific, from northern Alaska to Puget Sound, Washington State; intertidal to 475 m (1,558 ft).
Notes:
Uncommon. Looks somewhat like the morning sun star but has fewer, shorter, thicker arms. In the Atlantic it is reported to eat sea stars and molluscs. But in the Pacific it does not eat other stars, nor do they respond to touch with an escape response*. Here they eat sea cucumbers and other invertebrate prey.