Etoile de mer commune  - Aquarium La Rochelle

Common Sea Star

Asteria rubens
Conservation status :

Not evaluated

  • Group
  • Size
    15 centimetres
  • Distribution area

    This sea star is found up to 200 m deep along rocky coastlines from Iceland and Finland to the islands off Cape Verde.

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This sea star reproduces in the spring and summer.

The female pushes herself up on all five arms and releases up to 2 million eggs into the sea. At the same time, the males excrete their sperm. Fertilization then takes place in the open water. The eggs hatch into swimming larvae that, at the age of 2 months, will settle on the seabed and become young sea stars. Some adult specimens will reach the maximum size of 50 cm in diameter.


The sea star is a predator that feeds on shellfish like mussels, clams and scallops. To do this, it places its arms on each of the valves to crack them open. Its stomach then everts through its mouth and slips inside the shell to devour its contents. Meals can take up to several hours. The sea star can also feed on carcasses.

« The sea star has tremendous regenerative capacities. It can sacrifice an arm to a predator, which will later grow back. Some species can even regenerate an entire animal from just one arm. »

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