Sea Stars Of The Pacific North West

Class Asteroidea
Order Velatida
Family Pterasteridae


Pteraster militaris

5 (rarely 6*) short, puffy, heavily wrinkled arms and disc with a large central pore. Aboral surface soft to the touch. Pale yellow to pink. To 15 cm (6 in) across.

Circumboreal. In the north Pacific, from the Bering Sea to northern Oregon; 10 to 1100 m (33 to 3,609 ft).
Prey include CLOUD SPONGES Aphrocallistes vastus*, WHITE RETICULATED SPONGE Iophon chelifer var. californiana* as well as the HYDROCORALS Stylaster norvigicus and Stylantheca spp.*.
This star has a large dorsal chamber under the aboral skin. Females retain some of their eggs in this chamber and once fertilized, 30 to 40 juveniles grow to about 1 cm (0.4 in) across before exiting through the dorsal pore.