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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Icon Star Iconaster longimanus

The icon star is s strikingly patterned species that has long, thin arms and a flat disk. The arms and disk are edged by rows of skeletal plates that protect the starfish and give it a rigid feel. These plates may be pale or dark and they form unique patterns on each icon star, which enable researchers to recognize, track, and monitor individuals in the field. Data from such studies indicates that icon stars grow very slowly and suggests that the largest individuals may live as long as humans. Although icon stars usually live in deeper, dark waters, they are common in waters at depths of 15–65 ft (5–20 m) around Singapore, probably because the water there is turbid and light levels are low. Female icon stars produce large orange eggs that develop into tiny orange larvae; the eggs contain chemicals that deter fish predators.

Icon Starzoom image
  • Class Asteroidea
  • Diameter Up to 5 in (12 cm)
  • Depth 100–280 ft (30–85 m)
  • Habitat Deep reefs and slopes
  • Distribution Tropical waters of Indian Ocean and western Pacific
Icon Star Habitat Mapzoom image