Class Asteroidea

Order Velatida

Family Pterasteridae


Pteraster tesselatus Ives, 1888


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. Recent genetic research by Christopher Wells at the University of Washington has suggested that the specimens with the radiating dark patterns are a separate, undescribed species.


 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. The slime also repels attacks 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.