Mediterranean Red Starfish: A lovely and very attractive starfish.

In the following article, we will talk about the Mediterranean Red Starfish, or Echinaster sepositus, in scientific terms, whose stunning red color delights anyone who sees them.

Characteristics of the Mediterranean Red Starfish

These starfish usually have 5 thin arms with tiny spines disorderly arranged on the dorsal surface. In rare cases, they can have up to 7 arms. They are totally round, and the ending portion of their arms, is commonly darker red than the rest of their bodies, which is also a distinctive feature of this species.

They have ambulacral feet arranged in two rows, which end in little developed suction cups. The body of the Mediterranean red starfish has a slightly soapy texture, which usually disgust or scare many persons, because they think it is something dirty, but that is the naturalness of this starfish.

They tend to hide among the rocks, or simply expose themselves to the eyes of the people, the color can be a very intense red, or sometimes, it can become a very bright orange.

Mediterranean Red Starfish: Anatomica lCharacteristics


The size of these starfish ranges between 20 or 30 centimeters, and as mentioned above, its color is a very striking red, or a very attractive orange. The arms of the Mediterranean red starfish can be very long, with a measurement of 20 centimeters. These extremities possess small spines, which are harmless for the human touch, because as mentioned above, they are covered by a sort of soapy mucosa.

When a Mediterranean red starfish is turned around, it can be clearly seen that it has some ambulacral grooves, which move continuously.

Habitat of the Mediterranean Red Starfish

This species inhabits mostly in the East Atlantic, including the Mediterranean Sea, where it is one of the most common starfish.

If we talk about the depth in which they live, it is estimated that they are in about 250 meters under the sea, which is not so deep, compared with other animals that live in it.

Reproduction of the Mediterranean Red Starfish

The fertilization of these starfish is totally external. Their sexes are separated, although there are also hermaphroditic specimens, but this is not very common. They tend to reproduce during autumn. The males tend to have an upright posture when they throw their sperm through the water and that’s when fertilization begins.

Alimentation Habits of the Mediterranean Red Starfish

The diet of these starfish is mainly comprised by marine sponges. They usually employ their feet, to transport the food to their mouths. (See article Starfish: Characteristics, reproduction, habitat types and more,for further information about this technique).

Others Species of Red Starfish:

The Mediterranean red starfish is the most common specimen of this category, although there are other red starfish that are listed following:

Black spotted starfish (Fromia milliporella):

This species can be found in the areas of the Indian Ocean and the Western regions of the Pacific Ocean. They inhabit at depths that range between 0 meters and 75 meters. These starfish, as most red starfish, are quite employed in different type of aquariums, which usually increases their prices.

South African Red Starfish ( Callopatiria granifera):

The South African red starfish is a medium-sized orange to red starfish which grows up to 15 cm in diameter. They are mostly found on the South African coast from Namibia to Durban. In terms of alimentations habits, they usually feed on detritus.

Indian Red Starfish  (Fromia indica)

This species is commonly found in the Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific. Lagoons and reefs on all kinds of substrates, can be mentioned as their preferred habitat, at depths of no more than 10 meters. They feed on microalgae, small invertebrates and organic matter.

Mediterranean Red Starfish in Domestic Aquariums

Red starfish in general are quite employed in domestic aquariums, because of their attractive colors. However, some considerations must be taken for this purpose. Whenever you buy red starfish avoid those with any sign of stress or erosion at the end of their arms.  Their colors should be bright and uniform, without any patch on their bodies. It is quite recommended to have a drip system, which helps the starfish to acclimate in a better way to sudden changes in the water chemistry.

You can add flake foods to supplement their diet, which is based on biofilms of algae, bacteria and detritus, once they are inside the fish tank.

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