54 photos - 24 Species


Starfish are found in all the world's oceans,

with the greatest diversity of species occurring in coastal areas.

They inhabit almost any substrate such as rock, sand,

seaweed forests or seagrass meadows

and have been found at depths of up to 9000 metres.

Their bodies are star-shaped with typically five arms or a multiple thereof.

However, animals with seven, eight, thirteen or more arms are not uncommon.

One species, such as the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish, has up to 23 arms.

This is what a starfish looks like from below

 There are numerous little feet on the underside of the arms that are used for locomotion.

One group of mobile feet stretches out in the same direction,

attaches itself to a support and then shortens again.

During this shortening, the animal pulls its body backwards, not quickly,

but skilfully and evenly.

The mouth opening is located in the centre of the body on the underside of the animal. 

Photo 1 Johnny: Oberhausen ( Aquarium )

Acanthaster planci

Crown of thorns starfish

 Maximum length: 50 cm

Depth: 0.5 - 30 m

Spines with poisonous mucus can cause very painful injuries.

Feed on coral polyps and can migrate up to one kilometre per week.

Photos 1 - 3 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt

Astropecten polyacanthus

Sand sifting starfish or Indo-pacific comb starfish

 Maximum length: 15 cm

Depth: 1 - 60 m

Lateral rows of spines.

They live on sandy soils.

Burrows quickly.

Eats mussels and other invertebrates that live in the sand.


Photo 1 Johnny: Moalboal Philippines

Photo 2 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt

Choriaster granulatus

Red comb star

 Maximum length: 25 cm

Depth: up to 40 m

Variable colour, cream to orange.

Lives on shallow coral reefs.

Hides in reef crevices during the day.

Photos 1 - 2 Johnny: Lembeh Strait North - Sulawesi

Photos 3 Johnny: Embudu Maldives

Photos 4 - 5 Johnny: Bali Indonesia

Culcita novaeguineae

Cushion star or Pin-kissen sea star

 Sea apples have a plump body.

They are much less elongated than most other sea cucumbers.

The animals usually sit still and use their ambulacral feet to hold

on to a favourable spot in the coral reef for catching plankton.

Photo 1 Johnny: Embudu Maldives

Echinaster callosus

Banded bubble star, Warty sea star or Lumpy sea star

 Maximum size: up to 26 cm

Typical soft bumps.

Lives on sand, dead coral and rubble from shallow coral reefs.

Photos 1 - 4 Johnny: Lembeh Strait North - Sulawesi

Photo 5 Astrid: Lembeh Strait North - Sulawesi

Echinaster luzonicus

Luzon sea star

 Maximum size: up to 65 cm

You can recognise it by its coarse pores.

Very variable colours from brown to red to purple.

Photos 1 - 2 Astrid: Bangka Island North Sulawesi

Fromia ghardaqana

Royal tile starfish or Ghardaqa sea star

 Maximum length: 8 cm

Red body with light-coloured spots.

Active at night, during the day it hides under stones and rocks or in crevices.

Photo 1 - 2 Johnny: Bangka Island North Sulawesi

Photos 3 - 4 Johnny. Hurghada Egypt

Photo 5 Astrid: Hurghada Egypt

Fromia heffernani

Heffernan's sea star or Peppled sea star

 Maximum length: 10 cm

Depth: 1 - 40 m

Body disc mostly red.

They live individually on sand, rubble and limestone rocks.

Feed on waste material and small invertebrates.

Photo 1 Astrid: Bangka Island North Sulawesi

Fromia indica

Indian sea star

Maximum length 8 cm

Red starfish.

Beautiful, small starfish of tropical reefs.

It is quite variable in colour (different shades of red) and usually has black tips on its arms.

It is diurnal and feeds on algae and growth.

Photos 1 - 2 Johnny: Bali Indonesia

Fromia monilis

Necklace sea star, peppermint sea star or Tiled starfish

 Maximum length: 12 cm

The red disc has pores.

Found in reefs.

Photo 1 Johnny: Lembeh Strait North - Sulawesi

Fromia nodosa

Nodous sea star

 Maximum length: 12 cm

The red disc has pores, this species is found in the reefs.

Photo 1 Johnny: Bali Indonesia

Fromia pacifica

Pacific sea star

 Maximum length: 7 cm

Five-armed star, with light-coloured tips at the ends.

Photo 1 Johnny: Bangka Island North Sulawesi

Gomophia egyptiaca

Egyptian sea star or Egyptian brittle star

 Maximum length: 15 cm

Depth: 5 - 50 m

Reddish with light-coloured plates and few spines.

They live on rubble, stones and living corals.

Nocturnal, feeds on sea squirts and sponges.

Photo 1 Astrid: Hurghada Egypt

Photo 2 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt

Leiaster leachi

Leach's sea star

Maximum length: 20 cm

Body orange with red spots.

Nocturnal, seeks shady places during the day.

Photo 1 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt

Linckia guildingi

Common comet star, Guilding's sea star or Green linckia

 Maximum size: 12 - 20 cm

Depth: 6 - 40 m

Four to seven slender, tubular, often unevenly long arms with rounded ends.

Various colours.

Photo 3 is a similar species, but has only 5 arms.

Photos 1 - 3 Johnny: Bonaire Caribbean

Linckia laevigata

Blue starfish

 Maximum length: 40 cm

Blue starfish have a relatively small body and long, thick, round arms.

Variable colours.

The adults, which can reach up to 40 centimetres in diameter,

are usually bright blue in colour.

At greater depths of up to 60 metres, live animals are grey, khaki, yellow or pink.

Photo 1 Johnny: Bangka Island North - Sulawesi

Photos 2 - 4 Johnny: Bali Indonesia

Linckia multifora

Multi-pore sea star or Spotted linckia

 Maximum length: 15 cm

It often reproduces asexually and then sheds arms,

which after a short time form new arms and an oral disc.

They are often found with different lengths or numbers of arms.

Photo 1 Johnny: Bangka Island North - Sulawesi

Linckia sp.01

Linckia sp.01

 Maximum length: ?

I found a picture of this starfish on an American website,

unfortunately there was no description of this starfish to be found.

Photo 1 Johnny: Bangka Island North - Sulwesi

Luidia alternata numidica

Sea star

 Maximum length: 30 cm

Five long, tapered arms with ribbons.

Numerous spines create a velvety lustre.

Photo 1 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt

Photo 2 Johnny: Bali Indonesia

Nardoa frianti

Friant's sea star

 Maximum size: 15 cm

Depth: 0 - 50 m

It can have a different colour from place to place.

Photo 1 Johnny: Lembeh Strait North - Sulawesi

Nardoa novaecaledoniae

 Nardoa novaecaledoniae

 Maximum length: 20 cm

Often found in shallow reefs and lagoons.

The white humps become smaller towards the tips of the arms.

Photo 1 Johnny: Bali Indonesia

Neoferdina Cumingi

Cuming's sea star

 Maximum length: 6 cm

Quite variable in colour,it can be easily distinguished from other species

by the yellow tips of its arms. 

Photo 1 Astrid: Bangka island North - Sulawesi

Photo 2 Johnny: Bangka island North - Sulawesi

Culcita sp, Gattung der Oreasteridae

Culcita sp

 Maximum length: 25 cm

Also belong to the genus cylindrical starfish.

Many cushion starfish feed on microorganisms, others are scavengers.

Cushion starfish feed on polyps of stony corals.

In most species, the stomach is distended during feeding

and the food is digested outside the body.

As they look very decorative even when dead, they are often collected,

dried and then sold to tourists.

As a result, many species, such as the ‘netted cushion star’ from the Caribbean,

have become very rare.

Photos 1 + 3 - 4 Johnny: Bali Indonesia

Photo 2 Astrid: Lembeh Strait North - Sulawesi

Protoreaster nodosus

Chocolate chip star

 Maximum size: 30 cm

Horn-shaped humps pointed or rounded.

However, pointed horns are not a danger, do not penetrate the skin.

Very variable colouration.

Photos 1 - 2 Johnny: Lembeh Strait North - Sulawesi