Unveiling the 13 Most Beautiful Starfish Species

The sea star, also known as a starfish, stands out as one of the most captivating and remarkable sea creatures. These beautiful starfish have an array of colors and diverse shapes. Today, let’s join us to discover the breathtaking starfish species under the sea.

1. Red Knob Sea Star

The first beautiful starfish is Protoreaster lincki, commonly known as the red knob sea star, African sea star, red spine star, or the African red knob sea star. It is a fascinating marine creature found in the Indo-Pacific region.

With its vibrant red or orange coloration and distinct knob-like protrusions on its arms and around the central disc, this sea star stands out in its underwater habitat. It can grow up to 30 centimeters in diameter and has a rough.

The Red Knob Sea Star is one of the most beautiful starfish in the ocean

It is a nocturnal species, usually hiding in crevices or under rocks during the day and emerging at night to feed on various organic matter, including algae and detritus.

This beautiful starfish is a beloved sight for divers and marine enthusiasts, contributing to the vibrant and diverse ecosystems of the coral reefs it calls home.

2. Antarctic Sun Starfish

The next one is the Antarctic Sun starfish, a.k.a the wolftrap starfish. Sporting an astonishing arrangement of 50 elongated and slender arms, this creature resembles a radiant sun, emanating rays of light. Its remarkable arm structure contributes to its substantial size, reaching a diameter of approximately 60 centimeters.

Cre: on pic

While primarily inhabiting Antarctic waters as suggested by its name, these beautiful starfish can also be found in populations across the South Atlantic, including regions like the South Sandwich or the islands of South Georgia.

3. Chocolate Chip Starfish

The chocolate chip starfish or horned sea star, scientifically known as Protoreaster nodosus, is one of the most beautiful starfish in the ocean. This fascinating marine creature is found in the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region. Its name derives from the distinctive pattern of small, dark chocolate-colored nodules covering its body, resembling chocolate chips on a cookie. This species is characterized by its five arms radiating from a central disc, which can grow up to 30 centimeters in diameter.

The beautiful starfish chocolate

The Chocolate Chip Starfish is known for its striking appearance and vibrant colors, ranging from shades of brown, yellow, and reddish to purple and blue. It is often found in shallow habitats.

4. Crown of Thorns Starfish (COTS)

The crown of thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) is a highly distinctive marine creature known for its menacing appearance. It is characterized by a large, flattened body covered in a dense array of long, venomous spines, resembling a crown of thorns, from which it derives its name.

These spiny starfish typically range in color from purplish blue to vibrant reddish-brown to red-grey, and their size can vary from about 25 to 35 centimeters in diameter, although some individuals can grow even larger. With its formidable spines and imposing presence, the crown of thorns starfish is an unmistakable and formidable sight in the underwater realm.

5. Double Star Starfish

The Iconaster longimanus, commonly known as the double star starfish, is a beautiful starfish distinguished by its disc adorned with star-shaped armor plating. Sporting a disc in an enchanting shade of orange-brown, the double star starfish boasts arms embellished with dark brown bands and delicate tan edges.

The beautiful double star starfish

Often called the icon star, this creature has a distinctive appearance with five arms and a maximum size of 30 centimeters. Its habitat spans the Indian and West Pacific Oceans, with a significant population found in Singapore.

6. Blue Sea Star

The Blue Sea Star, also known as the Linckia laevigata, is a striking marine creature with a mesmerizing appearance. It features a vibrant blue or purple coloration that can range from deep azure to vivid indigo. This species is one of the few world’s blue animals that truly have blue pigmentation.

This is one the rare blue animals that have real blue color

Some of them can have dots in varying shades of blue across their arms. These beautiful starfish have a size of about 30 centimeters across.

7. The beautiful starfish – Cushion Star

The cushion star (Culcita novaeguineae) is a widely distributed starfish species found across the globe. This starfish has a rounded shape, resembling a pentagon, and is inflated in appearance. Its diameter can reach up to 30 centimeters. The species exhibits a wide array of colors, including shades of orange, green, brown, and yellow. Its exoskeleton is covered in calcareous ossicles.

Cushion stars have a wide distribution in the Indo-Pacific region, with populations inhabiting various locations such as New Guinea, Madagascar, Hawaii, Australia, and the Philippines.

8. Necklace Starfish

The next beautiful starfish is the necklace starfish (Fromia monilis). It’s also known as the tiled starfish or marble starfish, is a fascinating marine creature found in the Indo-Pacific region.

The gorgeous marbled sea star

This starfish is recognized for its remarkable look, displaying a vibrant color palette that spans from brilliant orange to reddish-brown, embellished with white or yellowish spots. The tips of its arms and the center of its disc boast a bolder color, while the rest of its body exhibits a paler shade.

9. Leather Star

The leather star, scientifically known as Dermasterias imbricata, features a wide central disc accompanied by five chubby, compact arms that gradually broaden from the disc. Its upper surface is characterized by a smooth and velvety texture, which is further enhanced by a thin layer of mucus.

The Leather sea star

The surface of this beautiful starfish displays an intricate design, characterized by reddish-brown hues interspersed with occasional greyish-blue patches. Its size can reach up to 30 centimeters (12 inches) in diameter. Unlike other starfish species, it lacks marginal plates along the edges of its arms and has a unique aroma reminiscent of sulphur and garlic.

10. Royal Starfish

The royal starfish (Astropecten Articulatus) is a captivating sea star recognized for its vivid hues. It features a granulated disk in a regal shade of purple, accompanied by five arms of the same vibrant color. Along the edges of these arms, there is a striking orange articulated margin. Adding to its allure, the royal starfish possesses white spines that are attached to this margin.

This beautiful starfish is frequently encountered along the east coast of the Americas, particularly in the enchanting waters of the Caribbean.

11. Southern Sand Star

The southern sand star, known by its scientific name Luidia australiae, is a prevalent starfish species discovered in the waters surrounding Australia and New Zealand. It is recognized for its elongated and slender arms, typically having seven arms as the most common configuration. Sporting a muted yellow hue with intermittent black or green markings, this starfish can grow up to 40 centimeters in diameter.

Southern Sand Star - the beautiful starfish

This beautiful starfish can be found residing in reefs, seagrass meadows, and occasionally partially burying itself in the sand at depths of up to 110 meters. There are instances where it is washed ashore following storms. The southern sand star, true to its name, employs a partial burial technique in the sand, allowing it to lay in wait and surprise its unsuspecting prey.

12. Carpet Sea Star

Carpet sea star (Meridiastra or Patiriella calcar) is also called different names, including eight-armed sea star or cushion sea star. Like the southern sand star, you can only find this species in Australia. It exhibits a strong preference for rocky shores, making them its preferred habitat. These fascinating creatures can be discovered dwelling within tide pools and venturing as deep as 3 meters below the sea’s surface.

The colorful carpet sea star

This beautiful starfish often displays a set of eight short, triangular appendages. However, it is worth noting that on rare occasions, individuals with seven or nine arms have been observed. These arms are fused together laterally for a certain length.

The carpet sea star’s upper surface exhibits a wide array of colors or color combinations, ranging from shades of bluish-green and orange to yellow and greenish-purple. In contrast, its underside maintains a consistent pale hue. This species typically reaches a maximum diameter of 5 cm to 10 cm.

13. Morning Sun Star

The Solaster dawsoni, commonly referred to as the morning sun star, earned its name due to its striking resemblance to the sun, featuring radiant rays. This gorgeous starfish inhabits the North Pacific Ocean and exhibits a range of color variations, such as red, gray, brown, and orange.

The sea star is known for its wide disc and usually has 8 to 13 arms, with 11 or 12 being the most frequently observed number. These arms are lengthy and gradually taper, often adorned with numerous small pincers that aid in capturing prey. At its full maturity, it can achieve a width of around 40 cm (16 in).

The beautiful morning sun star is renowned as the most ravenous starfish in its natural environment. Its exceptional hunting skills leave other starfish with no choice but to hastily withdraw, unable to match its remarkable swiftness. Unfortunately, not all starfish are agile enough to evade its grasp. Among them is the leather star, which happens to be a preferred delicacy for the morning sun star.

Those are the most beautiful starfish species in the ocean, from the vibrant hues of the red-knobbed starfish to the delicate intricacies of the leather star. Each species possesses its unique charm and ecological significance. It can be giant or small, venomous or not, smooth or spiny. Whatever it is, the species still play an important role in our ecosystem.


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We are passionate animal enthusiasts with over a decade of experience studying animals. With a degree in zoology and conservation biology, we've contributed to various research and conservation projects. We're excited to bring you engaging content that highlights the wonders of the animal kingdom. We aim to inspire others to appreciate and protect wildlife through informative content grounded in expertise and passion. Join us as we delve into the captivating world of animals and discover the incredible stories they have to tell.

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