White Sea Stars: The Allure of Eight Unique Ocean Residents

We see stars in the sky, but stars are not only present in the sky but in the ocean too. when I see stars in the sky twinkling, and their white light mesmerizes me. And one such thought guided me to look for some white starfish in the blue ocean.

Through this article, I want to give you some knowledge about white starfish and sea stars. that I gather after hours of research so that it will save you time and make your knowledge effective. These are eight white starfish species.

So here we go.

8 White Starfish Species

1. Asterina stellifera

Asterina stellifera
Asterina stellifera | Credit: Dornicke (commons.wikimedia) CC BY-SA 4.0
Scientific name Asterina stellifera
Location east coast of South America, Cabo Frio, Brazil, Mar el plata, and Argentina
Identification Tiny body

On our list first is the Asterina stellifera starfish. It is a small species of bat seastar commonly seen on the beaches and seashores of the east coast of South America, Cabo Frio, Brazil, Mar el plata, and Argentina. Do you know this species is endangered in Brazil?

This proper white starfish has also been found in colors like brown and orange-red. Commonly, this species has five arms and likes to live in deep oceans. This is a very tiny sea star; it has been observed that it can grow up to 80 mm.

Also, it has been seen that this species has a slow growth rate, which makes its lifespan longer. This omnivorous starfish has tube feet, which help them to control hydraulic pressure in movement, feeding, and respiration too, as they do not have gills and lungs.

2. Heavy starfish

Heavy starfish
Heavy starfish | Credit: Nhobgood (commons.wikimedia) CC BY-SA 4.0
Scientific name Thromidia catalai
Location Southern Indian Ocean, Madagascar, Reunion, and South Africa
Identification Brown or orange arms tip

Thromidia catalai is also called the heavy sea star or starfish. As you can see above, this species has five robust and cylindrical arms. Also, this starfish has a white, pink-beige disc and arms with a dark orange-brown tip.

This uncommon white and beige starfish can be found in regions like the southern Indian Ocean, Madagascar, Reunion, and South Africa.

Further, this species has a low tubercle surface, which makes it seem granular. They can grow 70–100 cm. Feeds on detritus and likes to inhabit lagoons and outer reefs.

3. Eight armed Lucida

Scientific name Luidia maculata
Location Indian and Pacific Ocean
Identification flat upper surface with a star pattern

The eight-armed starfish is also an uncommon black and white starfish you can find on the shores of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Normally, these species have eight arms, but some have also been seen with seven arms.

The upper surface is flat and has granulation. This species has a pale underside, and large tube feet with pointed tips emerge from grooves.

The color forms can be uniform, dark brown, orange-brown, or light brown, with a darker or black star-shaped pattern in the center.

4. Chocolate chip starfish

Scientific name Protoreaster nodosus
Location Indo-pacific ocean
Identification Spikes at the upper top and arms

The chocolate chip starfish is scientifically known as Protoreater nodosus. This fascinating starfish can be distinguished by its rows of spines or horns, which make it look more attractive.

These horns are arranged in a single row along their dorsal side. Also, these spines help them deter potential predators. Like other sea stars, this starfish has only five arms.

When it comes to their color variations, they can be seen in various color palettes like white, pale, red, brown, orange, and many more.

These individuals look like a bummed-out large cookie. As we say, they can grow up to 20–25 cm. The disc measures 12 cm, while their arms can be up to 14 cm.

5. Southern sand star

Scientific name Luidia australiae
Location Southern Australia and New Zealand
Identification irregularly blotched arms

Another species of starfish that has the same white color as Australian seastars is known as Luidia austrailae.

Moreover, unlike common five-hand starfish, this unique species has seven long, slender arms. These arms are connected to a central disc, which is pale or muted shades of yellow.

You can spot them in the southern waters of Australia and New Zealand. It likes to live in various underwater habitats, including coral reefs, seagrass meadows, and even partially buried in sandy substrates. This remarkable sea star can reach a diameter of up to 40 centimeters.

6. Sand sifting sea star

Scientific name Astropecten polyacanthus
Location Indo-pacific and southern Atlantic ocean
Identification long, sharp marginal spines at the edge of arms

Have you ever encountered a sand-sifting starfish on the beaches, coasts, and bays of the Southeastern Atlantic Ocean and Indo-Pacific Ocean? This starfish is also known as Combo Sea Star and is scientifically known as Astropecten polyacanthus.

These sea stars have a unique appearance; each of their five arms boasts a fringe of lengthy, sharp marginal spines.

Each arm has a length of 9 cm, which contributes to its overall body length and makes it look big and lengthy. This starfish can reach a maximum length of 20 cm.

7. Cake sea star

Scientific name Anthenea aspera
Location North Australia, southern Japan, China, Indonesia, and Singapore
Identification large marginal plates around the edges

Next is the Cake Sea Star; this starfish has a striking appearance. Talking about its characteristics, this starfish has a flat body with round arms. They have been found in various colors and patterns, like white, black, brown, red, orange, and green.

You can find these species of sea stars on the northern seashore in places like North Australia, southern Japan, China, Indonesia, and Singapore.

Do you know these smaller starfish are commonly encountered in seagrass meadows, while their larger counterparts prefer the company of coral rubble? When it comes to their body length, these starfish can grow up to 10–20 cm.

8. Serpent brittle starfish

Scientific name Ophiuroidea sp.
Location Caribbean, Eastern Asia, Fiji, Africa, and Australia
Identification banded stripes at arms

Last but not least, the serpent brittle starfish, is also an uncommon white and black seastar. Scientifically, it is known as Ophiuroidea sp.. This starfish has five arms and a mouth with five toothy jaws made up of bony plates.

It has a hard skeleton of small bones called ossicles, which support its body. This creates protective layers for the skin. This species of fully-grown starfish can grow up to 20 inches. But some serpents are also found whose length goes 6–8 inches.


So here we come to an end. These are some of the white sea stars. These cute and beautiful white starfish or sea stars are also stunning, like other colorful starfish and sea creatures. Have you ever seen a white starfish, and have you found this information helpful? If yes, then keep looking for new facts about the animal kingdom with us on HowItSee.

  • Wikipedia
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asterina_stellifera#:~:text=Asterina%20stellifera%20is%20one%20of,to%20Mar%20del%20Plata%2C%20Argentina
  • http://www.seasky.org/sea-gallery/sea-gallery-05-09.html

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