Ochre Sea Star 7669302930 O
6Identifcation number on The Map®

Ochre Sea Star

Pisaster ochraceus

Ochre Sea StarMatthew Meier ~ matthewmeierphoto.com

Description

  • This sea star has five stout rays that range in length from 4 to 10 inches
  • The rays are arranged around an ill-defined central disk
  • While most individuals are purple, they can be orange, Range ochre, and brown
  • The aboral surface contains many small spines (ossicles) that are arranged in a netlike or pentagonal pattern on the central disk

Range

  • Pisaster ochraceus can be found from Prince William Sound in Alaska to Point Sal in Santa Barbara County, California
  • Pisaster found within the warmer waters from Santa Barbara County to Baja, California is Pisaster ochraceus segnis, a subspecies of Pisaster ochraceus

Habitat

  • This sea star can be found in great numbers on mussel beds and on wave-washed rocky shores
  • The juveniles are often found in crevices and under rocks
  • Its depth range is from above the low-tide zone to 90 meters in depth
  • Pisaster ochraceous is very durable and can tolerate a loss of thirty-percent of its body weight in body fluids

Diet

  • Feed on mussels, chitons, limpets, snails, barnacles, and sea urchins

Interesting Facts

  • Sea stars are able to regenerate lost arms
  • A new sea star may be regenerated from a single arm attached to a portion of the central disk