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FAQs about Sea Star Identification 5

Related Articles: Sea Stars, Brittle StarsAsterina Stars, An Introduction to the Echinoderms:  The Sea Stars, Sea Urchins, Sea Cucumbers and More... By James W. Fatherree, M.Sc.

Related FAQs: Sea Star ID 1, Sea Star ID 2, Sea Star ID 3, Sea Star ID 4, Seastar ID 6 & CC Star Identification, Linckia Identification, Sandsifting Star ID, & Sea Stars 1, Sea Stars 2, Sea Stars 3, Sea Stars 4, Sea Stars 5, Brittle StarsSeastar Selection, Seastar Compatibility, Seastar Systems, Seastar Behavior, Seastar Feeding, Seastar Reproduction, Seastar Disease, Asterina Stars, Chocolate Chip Stars, Crown of Thorns Stars, Fromia Stars, Linckia Stars, Linckia Stars 2, Sand-Sifting Stars,

Starfish question - 10/07/2007 Just wanted to know how rare it was for a starfish in the Florida Keys to have 6 legs? Thanks, Judy <Not all that rare. Most starfish species have 5 arms, as you probably know, but many have different numbers. The genus Solaster for example typically has 10 arms. Many starfish will sometimes develop fewer or more arms than normal if injured in some way, or genetically different from the norm. So while finding a specimen of a normally 5-armed species with 4 or 6 arms is quirky, it isn't all that unusual. Cheers, Neale>

Who's That Star? (Starfish ID)  7/21/07 Hey Scott... <Hello again!> Mich caught ya! Too funny! I'm sure she'll forgive you, providing you do a lot of apologizing!! <Yup...I can plead my case well..LOL> I was thinking the same thing and putting her in the tank next week....let's be PERFECTLY clear, I'm speaking of the coral beauty, not Mich. <Yeah, Mich would be really aggressive in such small quarters! Seriously, though, it sounds like you're being very conservative and appropriate in with your caution. I'm pretty confident that you'll have a great outcome with this fish...Sure, nothing is 100%, but things sounds pretty good here.> By the way, here is a pic of the mysterious starfish in a QT, any idea what it is? I did a search on the web and had no luck. Because it's more of an orange than a red I didn't think it was a Fromia. It's doing very well, quite active. <Well, Jennifer, I was so tempted to just say that it is "an Orange Starfish", but that wouldn't be too fun, huh? It does seem a lot like a Fromia...There are a few colors, so that's not the most reliable indicator. Could also be an Echinaster or Linckia species, but it's hard to be 100% certain from the pic. I hope that you can locate a good information source to get a positive ID. Nonetheless, if it's doing well, that's a great sign! Good luck!> Thanks again!! Jennifer <My pleasure! Regards, Scott F.>

Re: Starfish ID- Linckia, Fromia, Or...? -- 09/22/07 Hey Scott, <Hey there!> Mich in small quarters...you crack me up! <And I scare myself sometimes, too! Yup, she might get a bit testy if kept in a small space- I know that I would. I know that Eric R. is capable of withstanding confinement just fine...Ask him about our IMAC "road trip"!> I believe the Coral Beauty is a go in a few days. <Good. I think that the fish should be fine!> As for the Starfish, you gave me a couple other ideas to search...I never thought Linckia. It didn't look like one to me, but I'll check it out. <Worth a shot. I'm pretty bad at Echinoderm ID ("Ummm, looks like a "red Starfish" to me..."), but it is a possibility> What is the recommended amount of time to QT a starfish? I know the normal time is 30 days, but since they are such sensitive critters and there is no algae in the QT I didn't know if shortening the time would be advisable. Thanks again Scott! Jennifer <I'm a big fan of four full weeks...Shorten only if you are convinced of the animal's great health and are running low on available food in the quarantine system. A full month is a great habit to develop; one which will dramatically increase your success in the hobby, as you have experienced! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Re: Starfish ID- Linckia, Fromia, Or...?  MichL -- 09/22/07 Hey Scott, <Hey there!> Mich in small quarters...you crack me up! <And I scare myself sometimes, too! <<Heehee! And others as well! ;) Mich>> Yup, she might get a bit testy if kept in a small space- <<I distinctly remember two rather cramped field trips at IMAC, one the likes of "...yes sir mister officer" and I don't recall being testy, perhaps a bit giggly and goofy, but not testy. I'm generally not ornery! Mich>> I know that I would. <<As I recall Scott, you were pretty cramped too, but I don't remember you complaining about that either! Mich>> I know that Eric R. is capable of withstanding confinement just fine...Ask him about our IMAC "road trip"!> <<He definitely had the worst of it! Poor Eric, he was a pretzel, we love ya Eric, twisted or not... Perhaps twisted is more fun though! Heehee! Mich>> I believe the Coral Beauty is a go in a few days. <Good. I think that the fish should be fine!> As for the Starfish, you gave me a couple other ideas to search...I never thought Linckia. It didn't look like one to me, but I'll check it out. <Worth a shot. I'm pretty bad at Echinoderm ID ("Ummm, looks like a "red Starfish" to me..."), <<Heehee! Very helpful there Scottie! Mich>> but it is a possibility> What is the recommended amount of time to QT a starfish? I know the normal time is 30 days, but since they are such sensitive critters and there is no algae in the QT I didn't know if shortening the time would be advisable. Thanks again Scott! Jennifer <I'm a big fan of four full weeks...Shorten only if you are convinced of the animal's great health and are running low on available food in the quarantine system. A full month is a great habit to develop; one which will dramatically increase your success in the hobby, as you have experienced! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Starfish ID- Mystery Solved! -- 09/23/07 Dear Mr. Fellman, <Yikes! So formal- just "Scott" is fine! > Just wanted to let you know that you sell yourself a little short. Your guess of an Orange Starfish, an Echinaster, was correct. It's technical name is a Echinaster spinulosus. This link is a great resource for echinoderm id. http://oceanica.cofc.edu/TRCH-Echinos/web_Seastars/page05.htm He seems to being doing just great so far...he's an active little bugger. We'll wait the usual 30 days in QT. Thanks for putting my mind at ease so I can sleep at night!! Jennifer <Well, as my friend Anthony Calfo is fond of saying, "Even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes!" In all seriousness, I'm glad that you made a positive ID on the specimen. Thank you very much for sharing the link that you found with our readers! Best of luck and enjoy your new friend! Regards, Scott F.>

Tiny white starfish on my glass? Yes, An Asterina Star -- 09/08/07 Hi, <Hi Mandy, Mich here.> I've read about the tiny brownish Starfish with the shorter two legs that eats corals, but mine is white. Can you tell me is it safe to keep? <In my opinion, yes.> I only have one so far as I can tell. <You likely have more.> I just saw it tonight when I turned off the lights and the moonlights were the only lights on. It is very, very tiny. About 1/4 of an inch? Here is a picture of it, up close and from a distance so you can get perspective. Little black sand snail on top, and Turbo below. It appears to be a fuzzy starfish? Next picture is a close up, it was hard because the camera got it blurry most of the time. But it appears to have fuzzy legs and then tentacles at the ends of its legs? I can certainly see its mouth! Thanks for any help identifying it. I'd hate to have to kill it! But I don't want it to eat my only coral either! <Is an Asterina Star. You can see similar photos here and read a little more about these little guys: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/asterinafaqs.htm Mandy <Mandy I noticed your NJ area code. I was hoping I might encourage you to come out to The 2007 Fall Frag Swap & Symposium, Saturday October 27, 2007, 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM at the Crowne Plaza, 390 Forsgate Drive Jamesburg, NJ 08831, sponsored by the NJ Reefers Club. WWM's Scott Fellman will be one of the featured speakers. More info here: http://www.njreefers.org/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=44&Itemid=1 >

Starfish ID?  8/16/07 Greetings crew, <David> Hope all is well. I need your help to ID the starfish in the attached picture. Are they reef-safe? Any special needs to keep them? Thanks for your time. David Guzman <Don't see this in my usual "pet-fish" and dive ref.s... Can you tell me/us about where these hail from? Any clues as in common names? Bob Fenner>

Re: Starfish ID?  8/16/07 I found them on some bay flats on the gulf side of florida. I've also seen them on oyster beds. <Is/are these off-colored Echinaster spinulosus? Did you collect them? Are they more orange colored in the sea? Bob Fenner>

Re: Starfish ID? -- 08/17/07 Yeah, they are very much more orange in the sea! How did you know? What is the color change due to? <Mmm, stress in a word... change in environment, nutrition> I collected them, photographed them, and acclimated them into my tanks. I've watched them crawl all over Asterinas and polyps and not be interested in a single bite (so far). Any advice on them? <To keep your eye on them... Likely largely detritivorous as nutrition types... but might die suddenly, pollute your system> Thanks for your help.
David
<Welcome. BobF>

Starfish identification... Asterina -- 06/14/07 Gentlemen, <A lady with you today.> I was hoping that you can help me identify this particular starfish and whether they are safe to have in my reef tank. <You have an Asterina Star. Some say these stars can be deleterious to zoanthids, but I have never observed this with zoanthids and these stars in my system. More here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/asterinafaqs.htm > I currently have 4 of them. <Hee! That you see!> Thanks. <Welcome!> I really appreciate all that you guys and gals do for this hobby. It has helped me keep my 75 gallon reef perfect. Thank you!! <Wonderful to hear! Mich>

Starfish ID...Linckia multifora, the Comet Star -- 05/16/07 Hi Bob, <<Tis Eric with you today...>> I inherited a starfish on a coral for my reef tank. <<Neat>> Only suspected it was a star as it didn't show much of itself (1st pic). <<Mmm, indeed...not exactly 'starfish' looking from this angle>> I moved the coral yesterday and got the full pic - slightly out of focus! <<...but more telling>> It seems to just take up residence under a coral and not move apart from sticking a leg out.  Wondered if you had any idea what kind it might be, as I know there are some coral eaters. <<Not the issue here...at least not a threat to other than 'emergent' organisms...though no more than the snails and less than the hermit crabs in your tank.  This looks to be a Comet Star, a Linckia species...L. multifora.  Not as brightly colored as those most often seen/photographed, but as far as I can tell from the photo the morphology and markings are definitely representative of the species.  As with others of this genus, it will require 'lots' of live rock upon which to graze/browse for food>> Thanks, Linda Cassidy <<Quite welcome.  Eric Russell>>
Re: Starfish ID...Linckia Multifora, the Comet Star - 05/16/07 Thank you so much! <<Very welcome>> I will now treasure it instead of fearing it. Linda <<Ha, Indeed!  Do enjoy your new found friend.  EricR>>

Sea Star Help...but what kind?  4/26/07 Hello, <Hi.> I'll start off with some specs: <Okay.> 29 Gallon FOWLR <A bit cramped for most sea-stars.> 30lbs Live rock My levels are:   Ammonia: 0 Nitrite: 0 Nitrate: 10 ppm <Needs to be lower.> S. Gravity: 1.022 <Needs to be higher for invertebrate life...1.024 at least.> pH: 8.2 I purchased a red sea star from LiveAquaria.com the other day and received it yesterday. <What species?> After about an hour of drip acclimating it, I finally  decided it was ready to be put into the tank.   <No quarantine?.. and I prefer to acclimate seastars longer, they are very sensitive to differences in water quality.> Everything seemed well, but when I woke up this morning it looks as if all its insides have come out. <Not good.> I looked up the articles on starfish but I really didn't know what to search for with this.  It is still alive and moving, but why has everything "fallen" out of it?   <Hard to say without knowing what species this is...> Its only tankmates are a Percula Clown and a Serpent Sea Star which hasn't even come near it as far as I can see, it tends to stay in its cave at the complete opposite side of the tank.  Is this normal? <See above comment^^.> I'm rather new to the hobby and my tank is only about 6 months old,  but it doesn't seem like something that would be normal for anything, to have its guts fall out.   <Good be a reaction to the shift in water quality; I would like to give you a more detailed answer but first shoot me a response with the species (Latin/scientific...if you have it) name. Should be on the LiveAquaria site or on your invoice.> Thank you, Brittani
<Adam J.>

Batik Star?   4/22/07 Dear Crew, I just came back from the LFS with my new star.  I never bought anything for the tank without my husband's guidance, but I was swayed into buying it for it's beautiful color and pattern.  The LFS owner told me it would scavenge and would be OK in my FOWLR tank.  My tank is 210 gal.  I came home and Googled batik starfish and came up with nothing. <Me neither... nor have I heard this common name before...>   The picture I've attached is in the bucket where it's being acclimated. <Oh! Is a Fromia... Please see here: http://wetwebmedia.com/seastars.htm And a comment... I would not acclimate the Anemone with these others> It will then go into a small quarantine tank for several weeks (alone).  Since it will have nothing to scavenge, any ideas for diet? <See the Net/WWM re the genus> Any ideas what kind of star this is?  It's smooth, not knobby and under the lights in the store it was pink with brown; in natural light it's more peach with brown.  The tank where it was kept in the store (since last Thurs) had coral frags, another star and some Tridacna clams so I assume this star won't be a holy terror in our tank.  Thanks for any help you can give me.  Also, I promise I won't buy anything else without knowing exactly what it is:) Kris <I strongly encourage you to investigate before buying... dangerous to approach stocking in any other way. Bob Fenner>



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