Class Asteroidea

Order Valvatida

Family Goniasteridae


Ceramaster arcticus (Verrill, 1909)


Broadly pentagonal, rigid. Aboral surface with small flat-topped plates. Arms and disc bordered by large marginal plates. Usually pink, often with darker red accents. To 11 cm (4.2 in) across.


Aleutian Islands (Attu), Alaska, to the Strait of Juan de Fuca; intertidal to 186 m (620 ft).


Preys upon various species of sponges, including the PEACH BALL SPONGE Suberites concinnus. This small but attractive star is a relatively rare find and seems to be more abundant in the north. One hot spot for sightings is Outer Narrows at the entrance to Slingsby Channel where I have seen several on a dive. Another site is Skiakl Bay, Stephens Island (near Prince Rupert), where up to six have been seen on a single dive (personal communication, Pauline Ridings). Other records are from Race Rocks; Defence Islands, Howe Sound; and an unusually pale specimen from Sechelt Inlet. It is reportedly found intertidally at Attu Island in the far western Aleutian Islands.