Colorful Starfish (15 Cutest Sea Stars To Steal Hearts) | Updated

Most Cutest Colorful Starfish That’ll Make You Go ‘Aww!’

What comes to mind when I mention that there are stars above and below the ground? Nothing about this should surprise anyone. Here, we are discussing the magnificent Sea stars.

They are just as majestic as the stars above the earth. Simply put, most individuals are ignorant of their beauty. So, in this article, we’ll discuss the cutest and most colorful Starfish thriving underwater that is worth your time and fascination. 

What is The Meaning Behind Colorful Starfish/Sea Stars?

Do you know there are over 2,000 distinct starfish species in the world? Or perhaps you’re unaware that starfish, or Asteroidea to give the animal its proper name, aren’t even fish after all.

These amazing organisms are echinoderms, closely related to sea urchins and sand dollars. Therefore, although starfish and sea stars are the same animals, marine biologists recently fixed the error by calling starfish “sea stars.” 

The sea stars are among the most beautiful invertebrates in the vast ocean. With neither brain nor blood and an unexpectedly strange system, they digest food outside their body. The sea stars are even capable of regenerating their own arms. 

Additionally, colored starfish are associated with security, sensitivity, manifestation, fertility, abundance, and healing in mythology. Many cultures have long connected this fascinating sea creature with luck, fortune, regeneration, and renewal.  

To uncover the wonders that make each of these extraordinary and most colorful types of starfish so fascinating, let’s examine the distinctive characteristics of a few of them.

15 Cute & Colorful Starfish

1. Royal Tile Starfish

Royal Tile Starfish
Royal Tile Starfish | Credit: Fernando Herranz Martín commons.wikimedia (CC BY-SA 2.5)
Scientific name  Fromia ghardaqana
Common name  Royal Tile Starfish, Ghardaqa sea star
Family  Goniasteridae 
Geographical location  El Quesir, Red Sea, Egypt 
Identification  Characteristic bright color with sharp whitish spots all over the body 

The species Fromia ghardaqana has the common name Royal Tile Starfish. Even though they are often placed in aquariums, handling them requires a lot of skill and should only be left to experts.

It is challenging to keep this Fromia starfish alive for a long time. Because we can’t offer them in the aquarium what they may find in the water as food, they eventually starve & die. 

Even in huge tanks with abundant supplementary food and microfauna, they are impossible to keep. Thus, these food specialists, cute and colorful fromia starfish, are poor survivors.

2. Necklace Sea Star

Necklace Sea Star
Necklace Sea Star | Credit: Hectonichus commons.wikimedia (CC BY-SA 2.5)
Scientific name  fromia monilis 
Common name  Necklace Sea Star, Tiled Sea Star
Family  Goniasteridae 
Geographical location  Indian Ocean, Western Pacific, Australia and Japan 
Identification  Its appearance: they reach the size of 30cm. The tips of the arms and the disc center of this starfish are bright red, while the remaining parts are paler, forming large plates. 

This species frequently lives alone or in small groups on shallow rocky slopes, reefs, and sandy places. Color-wise, they are very diverse.  

Fromia monilis feeds on algae, tiny invertebrates, thin bacterial films, debris, and sponges with encrusting shells.  

They share the same remarkable regenerative abilities as the other Sea Stars, allowing them to develop new arms in case of a predator attack or something. 

It is better to avoid putting them in brand-new aquariums because there isn’t enough natural food there for them to eat.

3. Biscuit Sea Star (Pentagonaster duebeni)

Pentagonaster duebeni
Pentagonaster duebeni
Scientific name  Pentagonaster duebeni 
Common name  Species of Biscuit Sea Star 
Family  Goniasteridae 
Geographical location  Australian coast 
Identification  Arms are equal in length to the central disc, with lengths up to 8cm. 

At depths of up to 160 meters below sea level, this biscuit sea star species, Pentagonaster duebeni thrives near exposed and protected reefs. 

It is a five-armed flattened starfish with rounded arcs separating the limbs’ blunt tips. Plus, due to the vivid yellow, orange, and red coloring on its plates, which are divided by fine white or yellow lines, this species is readily identifiable.

However, specimens from southern Western Australia exhibit elevated dorsal plates and colors ranging from dark to bright red, which is kind of different. 

They eat sponges, bryozoans, and other invertebrates as food.

4. Northern Pacific Sea star

Northern Pacific Sea star
Northern Pacific Sea star
 Scientific name  Asterias amurensis 
Common name  Northern Pacific sea star, flatbottom sea star, Japanese sea star, and purple-orange sea star 
Family  Asteriidae 
Geographical location  Native to the Pacific Ocean near Japan, Russia, Northern China, and Korea 
Identification  Distinctive upturned tips of its arms 

The Northern Pacific Sea star, Asterias amurensis, is a sea star that lives in bays and shallow seas.  

It is a powerful, aggressive predator of local species like oysters, mussels, and scallops. It is frequently preyed on by other species of starfish. Their bottom is all yellow. On its dorsal side, it displays a variety of hues, from orange to yellow and occasionally red and purple.

These sea stars move in the direction of light in a positive phototactic response. When it has both shaded and lit areas, it is seen that they shift toward the illuminated area.

5. Sugar Starfish – Asterias rubens

Sugar Starfish
Sugar Starfish
Scientific name  Asterias rubens 
Common name  Common starfish, common sea star, or sugar starfish 
Family  Asteriidae 
Geographical location  North-east Atlantic, Arctic Norway, along Atlantic coasts to Senegal, and only found occasionally in the Mediterranean 
Identification  It has five tapering arms, broad at the base, and slightly turned up at the tip when active. 

The most common and renowned starfish in the northeast Atlantic is the sugar starfish (Asterias rubens). The common starfish inhabits rocky and gravelly substrates, where it consumes mollusks and other benthic invertebrates for food. 

Although they are commonly orange-colored, specimens discovered at deeper depths are pale brown or violet. 

The Asterias rubens can crawl at speeds up to 30 cm per minute, or 60 feet per hour, on their short legs. Their tube feet’s suction cups are not used for walking; rather, they are utilized to grip, ingest, and scale objects.

6. Panamic Cushion Star

Panamic Cushion Star
Panamic Cushion Star
Scientific name  Pentaceraster cumingi 
Common name  Panamic cushion star, Cortez starfish, or knobby star 
Family  Oreasteridae 
Geographical location  Eastern Pacific: Costa Rica and Galapagos 
Identification  They have spiny skeletal plates (red) occupying almost as much surface area as the flat calcareous plates which are grey. 

Panamic cushion star is the local name for Pentaceraster cumingi 

Scavenging carnivorous items make up the majority of their nutritional needs. However, algae from the ocean floor, tiny creatures, and seagrass are among its favorite foods. Nevertheless, they sometimes even eat other echinoderms.  

These sea stars live on stony seafloors in tropical east Pacific coastlines.  

Curio shops frequently have the skeletons of Panamic cushion stars since they are casual ornaments in Mexico and Peru. As a result, their Peruvian population is almost extinct.

7. Giant Spined Star (Pisaster giganteus)

Giant Spined Star
Giant Spined Star | Credit: Cricket Raspet (@uk.inaturalist)
Scientific name  Pisaster giganteus 
Common name  Giant Spined Star 
Family  Asteriidae 
Geographical location  West Coast of North America 
Identification  They have thick, bluish in color with white, pink, or purple tips blunt spines that are swollen and surrounded by brown fuzz, and pedicellariae that have a plier-like shape. 

Despite its common name, “Giant Spined Star,” Pisaster giganteus is actually quite small yet has huge, prominent spines. In fact, the average Ochre Sea Star is bigger than the average Pisaster giganteus 

They consume a variety of creatures, such as bivalves, gastropods, chitons, snails, etc. 

Giant sea stars have broad limbs and a hefty body. Although occasionally, they have a yellowish or grayish surface, it is usually tan or brown.

Only a few predators, including marine otters and sea birds, prey on the gigantic sea star. Additionally, several species of sea snails consume their larvae.

8. Ochre Sea Star

Scientific name  Pisaster ochraceus 
Common name  Ochre Sea Stars 
Family  Asteriidae 
Geographical location  Alaska to Baja, California 
Identification  Five arms and a rough surface, the short spines on the upper surface arranged in wavy patterns. 

Many other species can live and prosper because of the predatory ochre sea star’s selective consumption of mussels. As a result, they are given the dignified name “keystone species,” as their presence or absence has a profound impact on the entire community in the region.  

The ochre sea star is a large starfish with five arms, a rough upper surface, and small spines arranged in wavy patterns. Although there is a significant variance in color, most of them are either orange (ochre) or purple, and there is yet no compelling theory to account for this color polymorphism.  

At low tides, swarms of orange and/or purple starfish are exposed; they are frequently gathered in crevices or under shady ledges where they won’t get roasted by the sun.

9. Royal sea star- Astropecten articulatus

Royal sea star
Royal sea star
Scientific name  Astropecten articulatus 
Common name  The Royal Starfish 
Family  Astropectinidae 
Geographical location  Western Atlantic Ocean including the United States East Coast, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea 
Identification  It is distinguished for its vivid hues. 

The Royal Starfish, with the scientific name Astropecten articulatus, lives in the West Atlantic Ocean. 

Their vivid orange, crimson, and purple bodies are a favored sight for tidal pool tourists. 

The Royal Starfish is distinguished for its vivid hues. The sea star’s middle section (a purple granulated disk) and its five limbs are also purple. It shows an orange outline (the line running through the margin). It also has white spines attached to the orange margin and tube feet at the ends of its rays.  

They favor prey that is consistently of good quality and size. 70% of what they eat are mollusks. They frequently overlook smaller prey.

10. Crown of Thorns Starfish- Acanthaster planci

Scientific name  Acanthaster planci 
Common name  The crown-of-thorns starfish 
Family  Acanthasteridae 
Geographical location  Native to the Great Barrier Reef, Indo-Pacific region, coral reefs from the Red Sea to the west coast of the Americas. 
Identification  Their strikingly unique appearance and huge size (up to 80cm diameter) 

One of the world’s biggest starfish!!! 

The venomous thorn-like spines over the upper surface of Acanthaster planci resemble the biblical crown of thorns, giving the creature its common name. 

Interestingly, they are often hard to spot on a reef despite their large size. Since they favor hiding in the crevices and ledges of the reef. 

Adult crown-of-thorns starfish have an intense appetite for hard corals that are generally fast-growing. They consume their meal by coating it with digestive enzymes, making coral tissue turn into soup, and pushing their stomach out through their mouth.

They pull their stomachs back into their bodies thereafter.

11. Blue Sea Star (Phataria unifascialis)

Blue Sea Star
Blue Sea Star
Scientific name  Phataria unifascialis 
Common name  Blue Sea Star 
Family  Ophidiasteridae 
Geographical location  The eastern Pacific Ocean 
Identification  Five long tubular arms, grey base color, each arm with two brown stripes along the length with blue spots in between. 

This species is occasionally called the blue Sea Star or the Tan Starfish. Although both of these names are already used for other species. Their five long tubular arms and gray base color help us recognize them.  

Additionally, each arm has two brown stripes running the length of it, with blue dots here and there.  

This sea star may reach a height of 18 cm and has a blue or tan tint.

12. Mosaic Sea Star – Plectaster decanus

Mosaic Sea Star
Mosaic Sea Star | Credit: Peter Southwood commons.wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Scientific name  Plectaster decanus 
Common name  The mosaic sea star
Family  Echinasteridae 
Geographical location  Southern coast of Australia 
Identification  Aboral surface with a hexagonal network of granular ridges covering its red upper surface

The plectaster genus has only one species, the mosaic sea star. It is an elegant & colorful starfish with five-rounded arms that taper to a small, rounded end. 

We can easily see the aboral surface with a hexagonal network of granular ridges covering its red upper surface. It has a smooth texture and divides variously colored regions, including orange, purple, and red, in a mosaic effect, hence the name. 

Plectaster decanus is one of the rare sea stars that can make people feel numb due to its poison. Therefore, it is best not to touch them or take them from the water for the sake of you both.

13. Australia Red and Yellow Iconaster Sea Star

Scientific name  Iconaster longimanus 
Common name  The Double Sea Star 
Family  Goniasteridae 
Geographical location  Tropical Australia 
Identification  Unique appearance with a reddish star in the middle, the rest of the body is creamy yellow to brown 

According to all accounts, the Double Sea Star (Iconaster longimanus) is quite an uncommon animal in the wild.  

As rare as if a diver makes more than 600 dives around the Philippines, he would only ever spot one specimen. 

Throughout its range, this sea star is quite varying. Because if you observe the ones from Australia, they give a distinct phenotype. The appearance of a mix creamy yellow color typically has a redder shade in the middle.

14. Firebrick Starfish

Scientific name  Asterodiscides truncatus 
Common name  The firebrick starfish 
Family  Asterodiscididae 
Geographical location  Australia and New Zealand 
Identification  Unique appearance, completely covered in lumps and bumps of all sizes 

The firebrick starfish, Asterodiscides truncatus, is a ridiculously gorgeous species of five-armed starfish living around Australia and New Zealand.  

They stand out in our list of colorful starfish because they are entirely covered in lumps and bumps of all sizes that are yellow, orange, and purple in color. 

At the foot of the kelp forest, the firebrick starfish eats by grazing on sponges and other vibrant benthic creatures, where they blend in well with their bright coloration.

15. Henricia sanguinolenta

Henricia sanguinolenta
Henricia sanguinolenta | Credit: Matthieu Sontag commons.wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Scientific name  Henricia sanguinolenta 
Common name  The northern henricia 
Family  Echinasteridae 
Geographical location  North Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans 
Identification  The characteristic appearance 

The North Atlantic and North Pacific waters are home to the northern henricia. Henricia sanguinolenta and Henricia oculata, also known as “bloody Henry,” are highly similar species that can only be identified through scientific testing.   

These sea stars eat sponges and bryozoans, moving the captured particles into their mouths via ciliated tracts and mucus. Additionally, they can use their skin to pick up nutrients directly from seawater.   

Despite being hard to differentiate medically, the blood stars have distinct sexes.

Concluding The List of Most Colorful Starfish

Starfish are among the most exquisite organisms in nature. They are, however, echinoderms and not fish. These creatures are now referred to as sea stars.

The planet is home to more than 2,000 different species of colorful starfish. Among all the Sea stars, the families Goniasteridae, Echinasteridae, and Asterodiscididae featured the most colorful and adorable species.

These species come in an extensive diversity, which is never anything less than astounding to true enthusiasts.


Q1. What is the most colorful starfish?

Ans. Each starfish mentioned in the above list is among the world’s most colorful starfish. All of them are unique, beautiful, and attractive in their own way. However, as soon as you google the most colorful starfish in nature, you will find the royal starfish, Astropecten articulatus, as the top result.

Q2. Are starfish Colorful?

Ans. Starfish are fascinating aquatic creatures that come in more than 2000 species with a wide range of colors, forms, and sizes. Because of their vivid colors, starfish, often called sea stars, are among the most attractive creatures in the ocean world.

Q3. What is the rarest sea star?

Ans. One of the rarest sea stars—the sunflower sea star—is even listed by the IUCN as “critically endangered.” The giant sea star Pycnopodia helianthoides lives in the Pacific Ocean’s northern region. It is one of the biggest sea stars in the world and the sole species in its genus.

Q4. Do green starfish exist?

Ans. Without a doubt, the answer is yes! In fact, sea stars are the organisms with the greatest variety of colors, forms, and sizes. Green is undoubtedly one of those vibrant hues. For example, the green brittle starfish, which is mostly pastel green in color and has a compact disc-shaped body and long, worm-like limbs coated in tiny spines or feet to aid in mobility and food hunting. For shelter, the Green Brittle Starfish require sandy ground with lots of living rock.

Q5. Are starfish poisonous?

Ans. Most of the time, not! As they cannot even bite, those cute little creatures pose no threat to humans. The majority of starfish are not toxic. However, One species of starfish, the crown-of-thorns starfish, can be poisonous if its spines pierce the skin.

Q6. Do starfish have 2 hearts?

Ans. One interesting fact about starfish is that they do not have blood or brains. Thus, it itself is an explanation for why sea stars do not require a heart at all. Consequently, they don’t have one. Actually, some other animals do just fine without hearts. Examples include jellyfish, starfish, and even corals.

Q7. Is it OK to touch starfish?

Ans. Since starfish get oxygen from the ocean through channels on their exterior bodies, it is advised not to touch or remove them from the ocean because doing so could cause them to suffocate. In fact, sea creatures can be harmed by chemicals found in sunscreen and skin oil, which is another reason to avoid touching them.

Q8. Can a starfish see?

Ans. The answer is, yes. They do see! The majority of starfish have their eyes on the ends of their arms. They are difficult to notice, and even if you do, you might not know that they are eyes.

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