Striped Sun Star

Striped Sun Star

Author: Kaylan Guidon

Scientific name: Solaster stimpsoni     

Size range: 50 cm (20 inches) across

Photos by D. Young taken at Race Rocks, Victoria, BC

Identifying features:  This species can be identified by the dark blue to blue-purple stripes that radiate from the centre to the tips of the arms. The base colour of the top surface varies from red-orange to a orange-yellow. The stripes may be difficult to see in darker specimens.  The top surface has distinct papillae and the underside of the arms have two rows of tube feet.  They generally have 10 arms.

Habitat and Life History:  This sea star can be found intertidally to subtidal and is mostly found on rocky bottoms. This species of sea star is found from the Bering Sea down the Pacific Northwest to Southern California.  Similar to other sun stars the Striped Sun Star is a carnivore and feeds mostly on sea cucumbers as well as sea pens, sea squirts and lampshells.  The main predator of this sun star is it’s close cousin the Morning Sunflower Star (Solaster dawsoni).

References

Lamb, A. and Hanby, B.P. (2005).  Marine Life of the Pacific Northwest: A photographic encyclopedia of invertebrates, seaweeds and selected fishes. Madeira Park, BC: Harbour Publishing.

Lambert, P. (2000).   Solaster stimpsoni Verrill, 1880.  Retrieved November 26, 2018 from https://www.sealifebase.ca/summary/Solaster-stimpsoni.html

McDaniel, N. (2011). A Field Guide to Sea Stars of the Pacific Northwest. Madeira Park, BC: Harbour Publishing