Starfishes and Other Echinoderms Book Review

Of all the highly diverse groups of animals that occur on natural reefs, the echinoderms are some of the most unique but also the least represented in our home reef aquariums. We have a basic understanding of starfish, urchins, and…

Paracorynactis Ball Tentacle ‘Anemone’ is a Starfish Killer!

The Ball tentacle Anemone is a very unusual tropical reef cnidarian that has a more than few interesting things going for it. You would think that such an attractive critter would be a popular aquarium candidate but there are some…

Good news for west coast starfish

Record numbers of baby Pisaster starfish are returning to Oregon and Norther California’s coastline after a mysterious wasting disease decimated whole populations over the past two years. The disease was first seen in sea star populations along the west coast…

Asterina starfish, an introduction to this common reef aquarium critter

Have you ever wondered what that itsy bitsy starfish is doing in your tank? The sneaky starfish probably hitchhiked its way in on some live rock or new coral, but now there are dozens of small grayish starfish roaming your tank. It’s…

What you should know about the Crown-of-Thorns starfish

Acanthaster planci, more commonly known as the Crown-of-Thorn starfish, is a voracious predator which feeds on stony coral polyps. The starfish gets its name from the toxic thorn-like spines covering its body, which resemble a biblical “crown of thorns”. The…

The rarely seen Striking Sea Star

Despite the diversity of sea stars that abound in tropical waters, relatively few species find their way into aquariums with any regularity. One of the most interesting species—morphologically, behaviorally and evolutionarily—is also one of the most seldomly encountered: the “Striking…

Harlequin Shrimps: Seeing Stars (On the Menu)

Somewhat comical and cartoonish in both name and appearance, harlequin shrimps (Hymenocera picta) are not invertebrates to be purchased on a whim. Keeping these critters, as I’ll soon explain, demands an investment of cash and effort that not every marine…

Starfish digestion video proves these slow moving inverts are not so innocent

[vimeo width=”680″ height=”450″]http://vimeo.com/45154593[/vimeo] The only thing potentially better than living comfortably between two shells, happy as a clam, is living in a tight cluster as a mussel. That is until your defenses are turned against you. The slow moving Pisaster…

Rare red ‘chocolate chip’ starfish is stunningly vivid

Last week while making a crawl of the Denver area aquarium stores I stumbled across an insanely bright starfish that made my jaw drop. Now I’ve seen a few different types of ‘chocolate chip’ starfish, some of which were mostly…

Predator Starfish Threaten Coral Reefs In The Philippines

The spiny and toxic crown-of-thorns starfish are voracious predators that can wipe out large areas of coral; an individual can consume up to 6 square metres of living reef per year. Outbreaks of the species often occur when ocean temperatures…