Class Asteroidea

Order Spinulosida

Family Echinasteridae


Henricia leviuscula (Stimpson, 1857)


5 slender arms with small central disc. Aboral surface coarse. Orange to red or brown. To 16 cm (6.3 in) across.


Southern Alaska (Kenai Pt.) to Puget Sound; intertidal to 110 m (361 ft).


Conspicuous and very common both intertidally and subtidally. Feeds primarily on sponges including the ORANGE FINGER SPONGE Isodictya rigida. May also use water currents generated by sponges to capture food in mucous secretions of the tube-feet. Spawning occurs in April and May.

On-going research by Doug Eernisse, Megumi Strathmann and Richard Strathmann has shown that many similar-looking blood stars are in fact morphologically different when the ultra-fine details of plates and spines are compared using Scanning Electron Microscopy. These new species await formal description.