Sea stars occupy every type of habitat, including tidal pools, rocky shores, sea grass, kelp beds, and coral reefs. (Surprisingly the sea urchin can live for months with a hole in its side). Purple starfish reproduction begins with spawning during the months of May, June and July. The sea star immediately backs off. Once it reaches maturity at about 5 years, however, its large, durable body covering and bright colors keep most predators at bay. The Biscuit Sea Star lives on intertidal rocky shores and in coastal waters to a depth of 40 m. Distribution. Description. Gather information on recruitment events. Alaska to Baja California. If a sunflower star approaches, an urchin waves its spines and pincers and retreats. The ochre sea star does not thrive in hot, shallow waters, however, and is not commonly found in shallow tide pools. With the exception of gulls and otters, the purple starfish has few predators and may live up to 20 years. Habitat: Oregon coast, tide pool. Pisaster giganteus, the giant sea star or giant spined star, is a species of sea star that lives along the western coast of North America from Southern California to British Columbia. Lynn has a Bachelor of Arts with a focus on English from Ohio University, where she also studied journalism at the E.W. 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. It can grow to a diameter of 40 cm, but 20 cm is a common size. The ochre sea star is a predatory carnivore that feeds on a diet of mussels, clams, limpets, snails and barnacles. When sea stars die, urchins come out of hiding and overgraze on kelp, creating a shortage of food and habitat for otters, fish, and other marine life. It is found in both sheltered and fairly exposed locations. The spines and tube feet fall off in this area and eventually the infection eats its way into the shell, killing the urchin. They tend to live in kelp forests where they ingest their main source of food, kelp. The coloration varies from pale yellow, to bright purple or red. When a sea star strives to get near an urchin, the urchin moves its spines aside and lets the sea star's arm get really close. This is one of the few sea stars with more than five arms. 1 Species ID Suggestions +1. ". Distribution and habitat. This animal feeds largely on sea anemones, California Stichopus (more commonly known as sea cucumbers) and Purple Sea Urchins. When on the prowl for food, the sunflower star swings along on its 15,000 tube feet — moving at the remarkable speed of over 40 inches (1 m) per minute. That ratio for the purple sea star ranges from 2.7 to 4. Types of Starfish. Its bulky, spine-covered body can grow to 10 inches from arm to arm and may weigh close to a pound. The arrangement of spines on the topside forms a netlike pattern. Data gaps. This sea star is an echinoderm, a marine invertebrate characterized by a rigid, internal skeleton (typically spines), a water-vascular system, adhesive tube feet and radial symmetry. Monitor populations for juveniles and recovery from sea star wasting syndrome. Biscuit Sea Stars feed on sea squirts, sponges, bryzoans and algae. S. endeca at the New England Aquarium, Boston. However, they have no vision. Since a sea star has radial symmetry, their dimensions are referred to radii. The meat inside, known as “uni” in Japanese,2 is considered a sushi delicacy, and the demand … "r" is the radius of the disk and is measured from the center to a notch between the arms. Shape The World. The Purple Sea star is a medium size animal found on rocky shores where it feeds primarily on barnacles. These animals also eat mussels. Some sea stars even live in sands as deep as 20,530 feet (9,000 meters). Purple starfish can reproduce asexually, as well, when a portion of the echinoderm fragments from the main part of the body and grows into a separate organism. Its arms are relatively short (R/r = 2.7 to 4.1)* Although its common name implies that it is most often purple, it is as likely to be some shade of orange or brown but never pink. Size 20-28 inches (51-71 cm) Diet Sand dollars, polychaetes, mussels, clams and other bivalve mollusks; Range Pacific Coast of North America from Alaska to southern California; Habitat Subtidal areas with mud or sand bottom; Physical Characteristics Limiting factors. Typically found with five arms, the ochre sea star may have only three or four, or as many as seven. Sea star wasting syndrome is a further threat to this species. The purple starfish has a tubelike stomach, too; it extends and inserts into the shell of its prey to eat. Habitat of the Sea Star The 1,500 different species of sea star inhabit many different ocean ecosystems. These bacteria are purple, like the urchin, and cause purple necrotic spots to appear on the outside of the sea urchin. Habitat and Distribution. This large, attractive sea star is native to the Pacific Ocean, often found hiding in the crevices of rocks in the coastlines of California and Alaska. The purple starfish or ochre sea star is found in the rocky shorelines of the Pacific Ocean from Prince William Sound, Alaska, to Baja, California. No Comments Sign in to comment. A starfish is also known as sea star and it is the cutest fish of its own kind. Too many of them and their habitat becomes barren and other algae-eating species disappear; too few and their predators -- including sea mammals, seabirds, and fish -- lose an important food source. The resulting free-swimming embryos have no interaction other than incidental with their parent sea stars. Pisaster ochraceus. On each arm are eight rows with barely perceptible skin protuberances. Prince William Sound (Alaska) to Baja California, Mexico (Lamb & Hanby 2005)