Sea Stars Of The Pacific North West

Class Asteroidea
Order Forcipulatida
Family Asteriidae

MOTTLED STAR

Evasterias troschelii

Identification:
5 long tapering arms. Aboral surface coarse. Colour extremely variable: mottled green, brown, grey, orange or reddish with white spines. To 80 cm (31 in)* across (a very large specimen from Pier A in Victoria Harbour, BC).

Range:
Kamchatka and Pribilof Islands to central California; intertidal to 75 m (250 ft).
Notes:
Very common. It seems to have a greater tolerance of brackish conditions and usually replaces the PURPLE STAR in shallow habitats toward the head of BC mainland fjords. Varied diet includes mussels and other bivalves, barnacles, tunicates, chitons, snails and lamp shells. Like the PURPLE STAR, some males are host to an internal parasite that prevents sperm production. Spawning occurs from April to June.