Brown Starfish

Brown Starfish: Complete Guide to Care, Diet, and Habitat

Starfish is one of the most popular aquarium fish out there. They’re easy to care for, and they make great additions to any saltwater tank. Everyone loves them because they’re so beautiful, and they’re also really interesting to watch.

The Brown Starfish, popularly known as the “Brown Star”, is a humble creature that has sailed the seas of the world since the beginning. The common name “brown” refers to their overall color, which is brown or gray, not any specific shade of brown. Species of starfish found in the ocean include the brittle star (or “sea spider”), called a Brown brittle star, which has a light-brown color.

The Brown Star has many different names, including horned sea star, Common Starfish, Common Sea Star, chocolate starfish, and chocolate chip sea star (Protoreaster nodosus). The brown starfish is a species of glass sponge belonging to the genus Protoreaster. They have a light brown body and a dark brown underside with a black star-shaped pattern.

Colorful, beautiful, and fascinating, the Brown Starfish is a captivating creature that is not to be missed. It is a relatively small starfish – up to 10 cm in diameter. Though most of the starfish’s body is made up of its many arms, it does have three distinct sections: an almost spherical head with long legs and a long body with short legs.

Diet and Feeding habits

The Brown Starfish is an omnivore and opportunistic scavenger, so they can be found in a wide variety of habitats, including coral reefs and seagrass beds. They eat a variety of marine invertebrates ranging from shrimp to small crabs and shrimps. Their diet also consists of some algae, but they are mostly carnivores. A good rule of thumb when feeding them is that if the food can fit in their mouth, they will eat it! They’ll eat all the time and eat whatever happens to be available when they are hungry.

On the reef, the main food sources are dead or dying coral polyps, soft corals, sponges, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, and bivalves. They will also feed on seagrass, algae, and other marine animals.

In shallow water around the reef, their diet is fairly similar to that of the Purple Sea Star, but they will also feed on mussels and mollusks on occasion.

In deeper water surrounding the reef, they eat tunicates (sea squirts), worms, gastropods (snails), brittle stars (the Brownstarfish feeds primarily on brittle stars), hydroids (sea spaghetti), crabs, and other invertebrates.

Starfish commonly use their radula to scrape algae off rocks or other surfaces to feed on. The Brown starfish has been observed to use its radula as a weapon against predators by piercing them with it. In captivity, starfish will feed exclusively on pieces of meat.

Appearance and color range

A brown or rust starfish is a kind of sea star. It may also be called a sea pansy, the name given it because of its superficial resemblance to the pansy, which is an expensive flower. Both the starfish and the pansy have five distinct arms radiating from their center. The starfish has long, slender arms; the pansy’s are short and spiky. The starfish also has a large, dark-colored stomach and a number of small, round pouches on its sides.

When starfish are young, their bodies are transparent. As they grow, the starfish’s skin becomes covered by tiny plates that look like tiny fingernails. These plates become covered in spots and stripes as the animal matures.

These starfish come in a variety of colors and patterns and can grow to be quite large. Some species grow to more than three inches (8 cm) across; others are only a few millimeters. Both males and females are able to change their color, but the process is dependent on their mood.

The most common color for these starfish is white or light brown; dark brown is less common, although it does exist. The most obvious way to tell a brown starfish from other types of sea stars is its five-pointed “star” shape; other sea stars do not have such a distinctive shape.

Brown starfish habitat

Brown starfish are found all over the world in tropical and temperate waters. You can find them in both close-to-shore and offshore habitats, although they prefer sheltered, sandy or slightly muddy bottoms more than hard substrata such as coral reefs.

Brown Starfish care and diet
Brown Starfish care and diet

Brown starfish or Horned sea stars live in the intertidal zone (between the high tide and low tide line). They are often seen on a sandy substrate, though they can also be found in mud. In the intertidal zone, they are often found between the leaves of seagrasses.

Chocolate sea stars are also found in the shallow waters of temperate and tropical oceans, including the Mediterranean Sea and parts of the continental shelf around Africa, Australia, Europe, Japan, the Caribbean Sea, and South America. They can be found amongst seagrasses and other algae that grow on soft substrata.

So the Brown starfish has a very wide geographic range, occurring from the cold waters of the Antarctic to the warm tropical waters of Thailand.


Unlike most species of starfish, brown starfish can reproduce both sexually and asexually. They are hermaphroditic, and they have no distinct male or female genders. This means that you will find both males and females in their habitat.

Brown starfish reproduce asexually by budding, which means that they split into two individuals. The new individuals have all the same genetic code and look alike, so they are considered one individual.

The brown starfish also reproduce sexually. This is a bit more complex because it involves both males and females. These individuals begin as eggs and grow into larvae that then attach themselves to each other and form a cluster. These larvae continue to grow in size until they are able to break away from the cluster, at which point they become new individuals.

This sexual reproduction of brown starfish is similar to the reproductive process found in other species of sea stars (although it’s not quite like that). It’s also similar to how coral polyps reproduce, as both organisms produce clones of themselves.

Breeding Guide and life cycle

The brown starfish is one of the more commonly kept freshwater fish in home aquaria. The starfish is one of the most common species in reef aquaria, yet many owners are unaware of their care requirements. The brown starfish, specifically, is known to be extremely difficult to keep and breed under captive conditions and can be aggressive towards other tank mates.

These creatures prefer warmer temperatures than most fish, although they do well in tropical tanks when kept with other species like angelfish and clownfish.

While you may think this creature should thrive well in a reef aquarium at around 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 Celsius), this isn’t the case. This species prefers a temperature between 75-80 degrees F (24-27 Celsius), with a pH level ranging between 7.0-8.

The minimum tank size to house all of these fish together is 100 liters/38 gallons, although a larger tank would be preferable if you intend on housing multiple pairs at once. The adults are particularly territorial and aggressive towards other brown starfish in the same tank; this means you’ll have to separate male and female pairs if you want them both to breed successfully.

You can provide a small amount of driftwood on the top of the sand bed to help keep the water at a stable temperature.

Aquariums with a large quantity of live rock should also be avoided because this often causes fluctuations in water temperatures, creating an environment that is too warm for brown starfish.

The Brown Starfish has an extended life cycle that takes about one year to complete, except in captivity where it takes up to seven years. This species has a lifespan of up to 10 years, but most survive for less than 3 years after being born.

Predators and Threats to Brown Starfish

A brown starfish is also susceptible to several types of predators such as large carnivorous fish, sharks, and rays. These predators will eat the starfish from time to time, so it is always best to leave these species alone when you are not actively keeping them in your tank.

Starfish are very sensitive to poor water quality and can die in a matter of days if a tank has very low oxygen levels. Be sure to keep the water clean, give them plenty of room, and use an aquarium filtration system that keeps the water clean.

However, people do kill specimens for the aquarium trade due to their attractive coloration. This is why you will see various types of predators on these starfish including sharks and rays. They are also vulnerable to being over-crowded in a home aquarium, which can lead to stress and even death.

Interesting Facts about the Brown starfish

  • The Brown starfish, also known as the Common starfish or Common sea star, is a jawless species of starfish belonging to the class Asteroidea.
  • The fastest moving animal on earth is the Brown starfish. It can move its arm at a rate of 105 feet/minute.
  • The brown starfish is a cryptic, elusive, and highly venomous species of sea star.
  • The common names all refer to the brown coloring of the body, which can range from light to dark brown depending on the sea star’s location.
Brown Sea star
Brown Sea star
  • The Brown starfish has neither eyes nor a brain and cannot see. They are also not able to feel pain, so the injury which would normally cause them discomfort will not affect them.
  • The brown starfish is one of the most capable and effective predators in the world.
  • “Brown” is a word used mostly to describe an animal that has mottled, dull-colored skin. It’s like “dirty” or “dark.” While it can be used in a general sense, it’s usually used to describe the color of an animal’s body parts.
  • Brown starfish are known to change their sex in order to be larger and breeding.
  • The brown starfish is found in all parts of the world, but like most starfish, they prefer to live in warmer waters. They are often associated with rocky areas or coral reefs.
  • The brown starfish is mostly nocturnal and hunts for food at night. During this time, it makes its way around the ocean floor by using its tube feet and a special muscle at the base of its arms to drag itself along just like an eel or worm.

Brown Starfish- Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How Long do brown starfish live?

The lifespan of a brown starfish varies depending on the species and conditions. The brown starfish has an estimated lifespan that can be as long as 10 years, but most specimens die young. The maximum age of a specimen is approximately 38 years old in captivity, which makes it one of the oldest known starfish species.

The brown starfish has a life cycle that lasts up to three years, and this species is known to live much longer than other members of the family Asterinidae.

Q2. Is brown starfish good for an aquarium?

Yes, Brown starfish is one of the most fascinating species of starfish available to marine aquarium hobbyists. The Brown starfish are popular inhabitants of reef tanks, as they add a little bit of color that can brighten up a tank. They’re also good at cleaning algae from the glass or decor. You can feed them, but don’t expect them to be very active in the aquarium on their own.

Q3. Why is it called a chocolate starfish?

The brown starfish is also known as the chocolate starfish. Brown starfish are the reddish starfish that get their name from the chocolate-brown banding on their bodies. These animals are named after the dark chocolate-brown coloration of the inner surface of their tube feet and also because they have a tendency to congregate together in large groups called “flocks” which can be quite conspicuous in shallow water.

Q4. Are brown starfish poisonous?

Chocolate Chip starfish are not poisonous, although they shouldn’t be handled necessarily, as that would cause the animal a considerable amount of stress. Although this small fish is not poisonous to humans, some people have reported allergies to the creature’s skin. If you have a mild allergy to fish or shellfish, try to treat it before your visit.


The brown starfish is not only a fascinating creature but also a vital part of the marine ecosystem. They are intelligent, attractive, and quite easy to care for with a little bit of extra knowledge. With their distinctive shapes and small size, they are considered by many hobbyists to be easier to keep than many other relatively common starfish. The brown starfish is a beautiful addition to any tank and will be for many years as long as it is properly cared for.

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