Class Asteroidea

Order Valvatida

Family Goniasteridae


Solaster sp. A (undescribed species)


 8 to 10 long, gracefully tapering arms. Aboral surface relatively smooth with densely-packed, tiny spinelets. Usually solid orange in various shades. To 37 cm (14.5 in) across. Looks much like the morning sun star, but usually has fewer, more tapered arms. The NORTHERN SUN STAR is also similar, but it has shorter arms compared to the ORANGE SUN STAR. This star had been identified as Solaster paxillatus (which is found in the NW Pacific) in past references, but recent examination of specimens from Alaska and Knight Inlet, BC revealed that it is a distinct, undescribed species (Roger Clark, pers. comm.).


Bering Sea to southern California; 11 to 3,740 m (36 to 12,270 ft).


Uncommon in the PNW. I've seen a few in Jervis Inlet, Sechelt Inlet, Narrows Inlet and near the Gordon Islands, BC. It is also found in Knight Inlet on steep walls. Little is known about its feeding behaviour although sea cucumbers and a BLOOD STAR have been recorded in the stomach contents. One specimen from Knight Inlet appeared to have the remains of a small SUNFLOWER STAR in its stomach.