Blue Spiny Starfish, Coscinasterias tenuispina

The blue spiny starfish (Coscinasterias tenuispina), also known as the white starfish, is a species that is classified within the Asteriidae family. It can be found in the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Its range includes the coasts of Portugal, France, Cuba, Brazil, various islands in the Atlantic, and the coasts from North Carolina to Santos. It prefers a habitat along shorelines at depths of up to 160 feet. This species holds more female members than males.

The blue spiny starfish is typically creamy brown in color with large brown spots occurring over its body and arms. This species can grow to be eight inches in diameter and have between six to twelve arms, although seven is common. This species is known to consume bivalve mollusk and other echinoderm species. The breeding season occurs during winter months in most areas of its range, although asexual reproduction often occurs during the summer months. This occurs when one individual undergoes fission, a process by which one starfish can split into two.

Image Caption: Coscinasterias tenuispina. Credit: tato grasso/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)