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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Mosaic Sea Star Plectaster decanus

The incredibly bright colors of this starfish may be a warning that it contains toxic chemicals. If carried with bare hands for any length of time, it causes numbness. A mosaic of raised yellow ridges covers its red upper surface and it has a soft texture. The mosaic sea star feeds mostly on sponges, and these may be the source of its toxins. When the females spawn, the fertilized eggs are retained and brooded on the underside of the body.

Mosaic Sea Starzoom image
  • Class Asteroidea
  • Diameter Up to 6 in (16 cm)
  • Depth 30–600 ft (10–180 m)
  • Habitat Rocky reefs
  • Distribution Temperate waters of South Australia
Mosaic Sea Star Habitat Mapzoom image