Striped Sun Star, Solaster stimpson

The striped sun star (Solaster stimpson), also known as the sun sea star among many other names, is a species of starfish that is classified within the Solasteridae family. It can be found in many areas including the western coasts of the United States and the waters around Japan. This species prefers a habitat within sub tidal areas with rocky terrain, at depths of up to 2,001 feet. It is large, reaching an average diameter of 19.6 inches, with eight to twelve long arms. It can vary in color but is typically reddish orange in color with a purple stripe running down the top of each arm. The upper side of its body holds paxillae while the underside of each arm holds two rows of sucker like tube feet. The main diet of the striped sun star consists of sea cucumbers, sea pens, and brachiopods. The striped sun star is commonly hunted by the morning sun star.

Image Caption: Solaster stimpsoni (the striped sun star); family Solasteridae. Credit: Erik Hannon/Wikipedia (CC BY 2.0)