Author:  Rose Desi-Seulean

Arctic Cookie Star

Common Names: Arctic Cookie Star

Scientific Name: Ceramaster arcticus

Size Range: 11cm (4.2in) across

Identifying Features:  The Arctic Cookie Star is typically pink with darker red accents in color. The arms and disc is bordered by large marginal plates. The Arctic Cookie Star is pentagonal, rigid and its arboreal (top) surface is usually covered with small flat-topped plates.

Habitat:  Most Arctic Cookie Stars tend to live close to shore, typically interdial to 186m (620 ft.).  They can be found around the Aleutian Islands (Attu) and anywhere from Alaska to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, south of British Columbia and into Washington State.

Food:  Arctic Cookie Stars prey upon various species of sponges including the Peachball Sponge (Suberites montiniger). They also eat shellfish, mussels and mollusks.

Predators:  Sunfish, sea turtles, manta rays, sharks and larger starfish are a big threat to the Arctic Cookie Star. Humans also are a big threat to most sea life whether it’s a souvenir they steal from the beach, an oil spill or just simply littering, we are definitely harming the Arctic Cookie Star.

Life Cycle:  Like most sea stars, the Arctic Cookie Star reproduces through external fertilization. Sperm is first produced in the testes of the males and eggs are produced in the ovaries of the females; Cookie Stars are not hermaphrodites. Both gametes are shed in open water, where fertilization takes place. The larvae, which have bilateral symmetry, swim around for sometime and then swim to the ocean bottom where they develop into adults that have radial symmetry.

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