Pink Sea Star

Jacob Hanke

Scientific Name

Pisaster Brevispinus

More Common Names

Short-Spined Sea Star and Giant Pink Sea Star (Rosaria Beach Sea Laboratory, 2013).


  • Geographic Range - Sitka, Alaska to La Jolla, California (Cowles, 2005).
  • Maximum water depth is 135m (Rosaria Beach Marine Laboratory, 2013).
  • More common in bays than open coast (Cowles, 2005).
  • Also found in intertidal zone - area that is submerged in water during high tide and uncovered during low tide (Cowles, 2005).

Physical Characteristics

  • It is one of the largest and heaviest sea stars. Big ones can weigh more than 10 lb. (McDaniel, 2013).
  • Five thick, heavy set arms and bulky disc. Arms are rough due to numerous short spines (McDaniel, 2013).
  • The overall color is pink (Cowles, 2005).


  • Starfish commonly reproduce using a method called free-spawning. This means they release their gametes in hope they will be fertilized from the gamete of the opposite sex (Rosaria Beach Marine Laboratory, 2013).
  • Become sexually mature at the end of their 2nd year (Rosaria Beach Marine Laboratory, 2013).

Niche in the Food Chain

  • Mainly preys on bivalves such as clams, but also eats others such as snails, sand dollars, and barnacles. Also may scavenge for dead fish and squid (Cowles, 2005).
  • Sea stars are successful because they don't have many predators (McDaniel, 2013).
  • Ironically, other sea stars rank as their top predators (McDaniel, 2013).
  • Decorator Crabs are a predator of the Pink Sea Star (Rosaria Beach Marine Laboratory, 2013).

Works Cited

Cowles, D. (2005). "Pisaster Brevispinus (Stimpson, 1857)".

McDaniel, N. (2013). "Sea Stars of the Pacific Northwest".

Rosaria Beach Marine Laboratory. (2013). "Pisaster Brevispinus".