Studies of the Striking Colors Starfish

Starfish is the common name of sea stars. They are one of the famous marine creatures. Their striking colors, arms, unique eating habits, and bloodless bodies make them distinctive from the other creatures. They have habitat in all oceans, i.e., from Antarctica to the tropical oceans.

Scroll down to learn about how to take care of and some exciting information about starfish, i.e., types of starfish, how long starfish live, and many more. There is also an interesting discussion about their skeletons, although they are invertebrates.
types of starfish

Is Starfish a Fish or Not?

Sea stars, commonly known as starfish, are not fish. Here are some remarkable distinctions between both.

  • Sea stars are not fish. They lack fish features, i.e., gills, fins, and scales.
  • They use seawater to circulate nutrients with a ‘water vascular system’ around the body instead of blood.
  • They use tiny tube feet to move around and prey.
  • Commonly, they have 5 arms. However, they can vary up to 40 among different species.
  • They can regrow any broken or chopped arm.

Types of Starfish

There are about 2,000 starfish around the globe. They are distributed all around the oceans, from tropical regions to freezing seafloor. Here are some famous types with origin, size, and color.

Name Size (in) Origin Color
Bat Sea Star 7 Pacific Ocean Various
Royal Starfish 8 Western Atlantic Ocean Purple tone with orange outline
Granulated Sea Star 10 Indo-West Pacific, often seen in coral reefs Pink with small brown spots
Panamic Cushion Star 12 East Pacific Dark base tone with orange dots
Chocolate Chip Starfish 12 Indo-Pacific Waters White or beige with black or brown spikes
Necklace Star 12 Indian Ocean, Western Pacific Ocean Red tips in the center and limb tips, pale yellow and pink in the middle
Pink Sea Star 25 Pacific North American Coast, found in muddy or sandy areas Pink
Leather Star 12 Western North American Coast White and orange mottled
Pincushion Starfish 12 Indian and Pacific Oceans Various
Morning Sun Star 16 Northern Pacific Ocean Orange-brown or reddish, with variations
Australian Southern Sand Star 16 Pacific Ocean near Australia and New Zealand Various, including light, pale to dark colors
Blue Sea Star 12 Indo-Pacific Waters Vibrant blue, also be purple or orange
Pacific Blood Star 12 Pacific North American Coast Bright orange or red may appear as purple
Crown-of-Thorns Starfish 18 18 Indo-Pacific Waters Various
Northern Pacific Sea Star 20 North-Western Pacific Ocean; Coastal Waters Usually yellow or orange with some purple lines
Sunflower Sea Star 3.3 Northeast Pacific Ocean Varies, bulbous body, can be colorful at maturity
Giant Spined Star 24 Western North American Coast Varied
Antarctic Sun Starfish 24 Antarctica Various


How Long Do Starfish Live?

The average life of a starfish is 5 years. However, the lifespan varies among different species. Starfish age also depends on the size, i.e., the bigger size can live up to 35 years, and vice versa. Moreover, they reach the age of maturity later than the small ones.

What Do Starfish Eat?

Most starfish species are carnivorous, i.e., they live on the flesh of other sea creatures. Most of their food consists of shelled mollusks. They use suction feet to break the strong shell and enjoy the delicate flesh inside the shell. Aside from shelled mollusks, they eat small animals, i.e., crustaceans, fish, and other invertebrates. Here is a list of common foods for different starfish.

Worms Coral Sand dollars Barnacles
Plankton Decomposing organic matter Small crustaceans like hermit crabs and shrimp. Clams
Mussels Sponges Oysters Snails

Do Starfish Eat Coral?

Yes, some sea star species love to feast on corals. The crown-of-thorns starfish is one such species example. An adult crown-of-thorns starfish can consume about 10 m2 of coral per year. They are one of the main reasons behind the coral decline in the Great Barrier Reef.
how long do starfish live

What Type of Skeleton Does a Starfish Have?

Starfish are invertebrates but have an endoskeleton, a skeleton enclosed by the epidermis. This endoskeleton is made with thousands of calcareous ossicles that consist of calcium carbonates and form different shapes.

The protection of skeletons varies among different sea star species. For example, the sea stars present in less dangerous areas, i.e., no predators, have less protection, and vice versa. Moreover, the low-protected sea stars can eat various foods compared to highly protected species.

Starfish Care Wishes

Starfish are only for experienced aquarists. It’s hard to keep them in good condition. Any fluctuation in water or other parameters can lead to unhealthy scenes in the tank, even their mortality. You’ll find some care wishes for starfish to avoid such scenes.

Tank Size

You need at least a 10-gallon fish tank for a starfish. However, size varies with different types of starfish.

Habitat Building

In habitat building, there are several aspects, which are in the following.

  • Install some excellent filters to keep the water clean from different harmful materials.
  • Install a protein skimmer. It enhances dissolved oxygen and improves the water quality.
  • Make sure all the water parameters are stable, i.e., pH, ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, and temperature.
  • Provide hiding spots in the tank.
  • Install a heater to control the water temperature.
  • Set the water flow according to the captive natural habitat.

Starfish Colors


Most types of starfish are carnivorous, but some are Omnivorous. However, feed them according to your species. Here are some feeding considerations.

  • Provide the vitamins and trace elements.
  • Feed them 2–3 times a week.
  • Thaw the frozen diet before feeding to your fish.

Daily Inspection

Check the filters, water temperature, test of salinity and specific gravity, etc.,

Weekly Inspection

Check the water parameters, i.e., pH, hardness, etc.

Twice a Month Operation

Change the 10% of total aquarium water.

Monthly Operation

  • If you have not changed the water twice, change 25% of the total volume.
  • Change filter media quarterly.

Suitable Tank Mates

You can introduce tank mates to them. However, you need to check their suitability. Here are some suitable tank mates for starfish.

Angelfish Anthias Basslets Blennies
Butterflyfish Cardinals Clownfish Damsels
Dartfish Gobies Hawkfish Seahorse


Keep an eye on your starfish. If any of the following signs you find in starfish, you need to take care of it.

Loss of color Loss of appetite Dissolving tissues
Deteriorating arms Missing arms

Maintain a proper habitat condition and food supply to keep your starfish healthy.
Studies of Starfish

To Sum Up

Sea stars, commonly known as starfish, differ in many aspects, i.e., starfish have no gills, fins, scales, etc. There are about 2,000 different species which are present throughout the oceans. On average, they can live for 5 to 10 years, but 35 years life expectancy is also observed.

Most of them are herbivorous, with some omnivorous. These invertebrates have endoskeletons, which are built up with calcium carbonate. It’s hard to keep them in the aquarium. However, with proper care, you can keep any of them. Along with food and medicare, you need some excellent aquarium equipment. To buy top-notch aquarium equipment, visit the aquarium shop.

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