Pedicellasterid Sea Stars

Pedicellasterid Sea Stars (unidentified species)

A bright yellow starfish (an unknown species of pedicellasterid) clings to a small carbonate cobble ~3000 ft beneath the ocean’s surface. Credit. NSF-OOI/UW/ISS; V15, ROPOS Dive R1858.

Several species of pedicellasterid sea stars have been seen at Southern Hydrate Ridge. These carnivorous, five-armed sea stars are somewhat difficult to narrow down to species without taking samples. The group is very widespread in distribution, and many species (even within a local area) are nearly identical in appearance.

The individuals we encounter at Southern Hydrate Ridge are often yellow or orange in coloration, some have spiny projections, and they are frequently seen on or near clam beds and other invertebrate prey species.