Sea Stars Of The Pacific North West

Class Asteroidea
Order Velatida
Family Pterasteridae

SLIME STAR

Pteraster tesselatus

Identification:
5 (rarely 6 or even 7*) short, puffy arms with a broad disc bearing a central pore. Ends of the arms often upturned. Orange, yellow, brown or grey. Many have a darker star-shaped pattern overlying the base colour. To 24 cm (9.4 in) across.

Range:
Bering Sea to Washington State; 6 to 436 m (20 to 1,430 ft).
Notes:
Eats sponges and a variety of other invertebrates. When disturbed this star can produce huge amounts of clear mucous--hence the name. The slime will kill other animals immersed in it for 24 hours. This slime also repels attack by the MORNING SUN STAR and the SUNFLOWER STAR.
The SLIME STAR breeds from early July to the end of August. The female releases small numbers of eggs through the osculum that develop directly into juveniles in about 25 days.