Sand-Sifting Stars

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Astropecten spp. - Gray, 1840
Sand-Sifting Stars

These burrowing scavengers need plenty of food in the sediment to survive. Scott W. Michael

[edit] Overview

Sold as scavengers, these stars move across the sediment surface until they decide to submerge into the substrate. While burrowing, they ingest any potential food items, then move to a new location.

These stars are brown, gray, off-white, or black. Along the edges of each ray are large, shieldlike plates; these plates and their spines give the sides of Astropecten arms a comblike appearance. They typically have five rays.

Family: Astropectinidae

Other common name(s):

Native range:

Maximum length: 30 cm (12 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 380 L (100 gal)

Lighting: Immaterial.

Water: Marine 24 °C (297 K, 75 °F) - 28 °C (301 K, 82 °F)

[edit] Feeding

Feed on sediment infauna.

[edit] Aquarium Compatibility

Not suitable for most tanks. They eat brittle stars, worms, snails, sea cucumbers, and smaller organisms.

[edit] Special Care

These sea stars need a lot of food: once the animals in the sediment are eaten, the sea stars often starve to death.

[edit] Notes

Some of these stars are active nocturnally.

Reference: A PocketExpert Guide to Marine Invertebrates
Image credit: SWM
Text credit: RLS
Facts about Sand-Sifting StarsRDF feed
Common name Sand-Sifting Stars  +
Family Astropectinidae  +
Genus Astropecten  +
Image credit SWM  +
Lighting Immaterial.  +
Maximum length 12 in  +
Minimum aquarium size 100 gal  +
Native range Tropical Seas  +
Reference A PocketExpert Guide to Marine Invertebrates  +
Specific name spp.  +
Text credit RLS  +
Water max temp 301 K (28 °C, 82 °F)  +
Water min temp 297 K (24 °C, 75 °F)  +
Water type Marine  +