White starfish – The Ultimate Guide to Diet, Habitat, Reproduction & Aquarium Care

The white starfish is a deep-sea creature that is also known as a sea star, or simply a starfish. It is a species of invertebrates and there are over 1,500 species of white starfish throughout the world. The name “white” refers to the color, but this is not the only thing that makes it unique.

The white starfish has many other characteristics that make it a very popular species of sea life. There are many other animals and fish that have these characteristics, but they do not have the same coloration as the white starfish. This species of sea star is also known as Asterina Stars, common starfish, and northern starfish.

The White Starfish is an attractive and unusual addition to any marine aquarium.

Identification & Appearance

It may have five or more arms. They are usually cream colored with a brownish tinge. Generally the body of white starfish has five arms extending outwards. The size of these arms may vary depending on the size of the starfish. A number of white spots are present at the tip of each arm. The length of each arm will be between 7.5cm and 30 cm in length.

The underside of the animal has hundreds of tube feet which are used to move the animal across the seafloor and also to capture food and carry it to the mouth. The white starfish has a water vascular system that allows it to circulate water throughout its body for respiration and movement.

The body of a white starfish has two parts: an upper part called the aboral surface and a lower surface called oral surface or mouth. The aboral surface contains tiny pores called madreporite which helps in flushing waste out from their bodies. Upper side of the body has small spines, while on the lower side it has numerous tube feet that are used for locomotion and feeding.

The mouth is positioned in the centre at the oral surface. It is used for feeding and excreting waste too. Another most striking characteristic of the white starfish is its color, which is usually off-white, but can also be orange or red.

Diet & Feeding Habits

The White starfish are usually opportunistic and passive predators that are more likely to feed on dead or dying animals. But with the help of their tube feet, they can also catch live prey. These tube feet can easily pick up and hold food items as small as single particles of detritus.

Usually, they will wait for food to come within a few inches of them. However, in case of large prey items, they may actively hunt and capture by simply pinning them down with their arms and start feeding on them.

White starfish are scavengers that are capable of eating just about any food item or organic material. In the wild, they mostly feed on clams, oysters and barnacles using their specialized stomach to expose themselves to open. They are also known to feed on dead fishes, algae, bacteria and even other starfishes.

They’re also known to eat decaying flesh from dead fish in the aquariums as well as dead corals when kept in reef tanks.

When it comes to feeding habits, they have a tendency to feed on anything that they feel like eating. They can also eat anything that may be found in their way. If you want to keep your tank clean, then you need to put some food in it and make sure that they do not eat too much of it.

The white starfish has a small mouth in the middle of its underside, surrounded by five spines called rays that it uses to catch prey. Its favorite foods are bivalves like clams and mussels. To break into this hard-shelled food, the white starfish wedges itself between a bivalve and the rock where it is attached. Then, it pushes its stomach out through its mouth to digest the bivalve from inside its shell!

Habitat of White Starfish

White Starfish are an extremely widespread species. They can be found all over the world, in many different habitats. In fact, they’re one of the most common starfish species on our planet.

They’re found in a range of habitats, from shallow water to depths of almost 3,000 feet (900 meters). While most starfish favor cold waters, White Starfish actually prefer warmer temperatures. They live in temperate and tropical waters around the globe, from the tropics all the way to New Zealand.

White Starfish don’t have any specific habitat requirements. They can be found on a variety of substrates, from mud to sand and gravel.The main habitat of the white starfish is in the northern regions of the Atlantic Ocean, as well as in the Baltic Sea. It is also found in the Northern Pacific and Arctic Ocean. This species inhabits Arctic, shallow water reefs and rocky seabeds where it feeds on barnacles and mussels.

White starfish are commonly found in the oceans and seas on the earth. These starfishes can be found in many types of habitats including coastal areas, reefs, seagrass beds and so on. They prefer to reside in rocky and sandy locations. But they can also be found living around mangrove forests as well as coral reefs.

Reproduction & Growth of White Starfish

White starfish reproduce sexually and asexually depending on circumstances. Male starfish release sperm into the water column as clouds of sperm, which then fertilizes the eggs of females. The larvae then develop into juvenile starfish over the course of several weeks or months. If a white starfish loses an arm, it can regenerate the missing limb through asexual reproduction by forming a bud from its wound tissue.

As far as their growth is concerned, white starfish grow throughout their lives and do not have an adult size limit. Although they grow slowly as adults, they can start out quite large at birth.

Sexual reproduction happens during the breeding season which is often in spring or summer. They spawn by releasing eggs and sperm into the water.

They are known to have a huge number of eggs that are often seen in the waters. The larvae hatch from their eggs and will go through several developmental stages before reaching their adulthood.

The growth pattern of white starfishes depends on their species and environment. As we have mentioned earlier, there are many different species of white starfishes and most of them have a slow growth rate because they are usually sedentary creatures with slow metabolism. Others grow very fast because they are mobile and more active than the others.

Some white starfishes can grow up to 3 meters while others may not exceed 1 meter throughout their lifetime. Their lifespan also varies depending on their species, environment, food availability, predation and other factors that might affect them.


The main predators of the white starfish are birds like gulls, oystercatchers and crows, as well as humans who eat them. White starfish has many other predators such as birds, fish, sea otters, crabs and octopuses.

If a predator such as this attempts to attack a white starfish, the white starfish has many ways to defend itself. It can swim away if necessary. It can also protect itself by ejecting its stomach out through its mouth and digesting its attacker! If it’s under threat from a bird or another animal it can simply drop off a limb which allows it to escape while the predator is distracted. The limb will grow back over time so there’s no harm done!

The white starfish has some natural enemies. They include fish such as cod, flounder, and cusk eel. The dog whelk is a predator of the white starfish , as are several species of gulls, including herring gulls, great black-backed gulls, and lesser black-backed gulls.

Aquarium Care- How to maintain tank for White starfish

The White starfish are some of the best beginner’s reef safe starfish which can be easily kept by beginners. They can be kept in a community tank but you need to make sure that there are no aggressive fish species present in your tank. These starfishes are fairly hardy and can tolerate water conditions relatively well but if you want to keep your pet white starfish healthy, make sure to maintain your tank very carefully. With the right conditions and a plentiful food source, these starfish can multiply rapidly and appear to be everywhere in the tank.

Size of the tank

for just one starfish, a small aquarium is enough but for more than one, a bigger or large tank is suggested.


24 to 28 degrees Celsius is required for the tank water as the starfish resides in warm water. So the best aquarium temperature for the White starfish is between 22-28° Celsius (71-78° Fahrenheit).


1.000 to 1.024 is considered ideal salinity level for white starfish and it’s great to keep that level in the tank. So the salinity level of the water should be maintained at 1.023-1.025 and the pH level between 8.1-8.4 and ammonia, nitrite, nitrate levels should be zero in order to keep your white starfish healthy.The pH should be maintained between 8.1-8.4, while hardness should be maintained at 8-12 dGH.

Water flow

The water flow should be moderate in the tank where these kinds of starfish live as they are used to a medium flow of water in their natural habitat.


White starfish usually feed on meaty foods, planktons and detritus in the wild but you can easily feed them frozen or freeze dried planktons and shrimps available at pet stores or from online shopping sites like eBay etc which will make it easy for you to feed your pet white starfish. They are very easy to care for and will thrive in aquariums as long as they have an ample amount of food. If there is not enough food available, they may become aggressive and attack other tank mates.


White starfish can be kept with a large variety of tank mates, but these starfish will shred other starfish and invertebrates.They also do not do well with many tank mates, so it is better to keep them alone in their own habitat. If you want to put more starfish in the same tank, make sure that the tank is big enough.

These starfish are actually good tank cleaners and they are quite easy to care for. They are also very healthy and hardy creatures so if you take good care of them, they will live long without any problem.

Interesting Facts

  • The White starfish is a fascinating and beautiful creature that will be loved by kids and adults alike. One look at this interesting star and you’re sure to be hooked.
  • This starfish has a unique appearance, different from most other species of starfish. Its body is made up of five arms which have an elongated shape and rounded tips. The entire body is covered with tiny white spines which are slightly transparent. There is also a row of larger spines along the edge of each arm.
  • The White Starfish can live up to 15 years or more in the wild and survive for just as long in captivity. It is vital for them to get proper care in order for them to live for a long time.
  • The White Sea Star is a colorful species of starfish, which is only available in white color. Unlike the other species of starfish, the White Sea Star cannot change its color to camouflage itself according to its surroundings. The striking appearance of this starfish makes it an eye-catching sea creature.
  • The white sea star has a unique disc shape body with five arms. The mouth of the white sea star is located at the center of its lower side.
  • While the majority of them are white, there are some that have a yellowish color. This is due to the lack of pigment in their bodies. This is caused by a condition known as Leucism, which is also sometimes referred to as hypomelanism.
  • The White starfish is a striking starfish with a pentagonal body shape. The body of the White starfish is covered with hundreds of short, conical spines. This sea creature is also known as the Common Starfish, Sand starfish and Sea Star.
  • White starfish spend the majority of their time in shallow water, hiding under rocks and coral for protection. They are nocturnal animals and come out at night to feed on clams, mussels, worms, oysters and other marine invertebrates.

White Starfish- Related FAQs

Q1. Can starfish be white?

Yes, there are also white starfish species. They have evolved to be white as a means of camouflage and to avoid predation. The color of a starfish plays a key role in its survival and self-defense. Starfish can have different colors, depending on the species and their habitat.

The white starfish are not actually white in color. They have a light tan, beige or cream colored skin color. When the white starfish is underwater you will see the true color of these starfish. The white starfish have a body that is shaped like a star and they can either be small or large in size. There are so many different types of starfish that can be found underwater, but the most common type is the white starfish.

Q2. What does a white starfish look like?

A white starfish is similar to other species of starfish. It has 5 arms, but it looks more like a fish than a star. The white color comes from its shell, which has black and brown spots on it.

White starfish are also known as Red Sea Stars, Asterina Stars, Sand-Sifting Stars, or Sand Sifting Sea Stars. The White Starfish is a gorgeous marine invertebrate that is covered with white spines. It has a small mouth and five long, slender arms. The underside of the White Starfish is flat and white as well.

Q3. Are White starfish poisonous?

The white starfish is not poisonous and is safe to handle. It has no teeth and moves very slowly, so it doesn’t pose a threat to anyone. It’s important to note that the mouth of the white starfish is on its underside and the anus is on top of its body.

Due to their flat shape, they are easily confused with sand dollars, which are similar but have different markings and grow to different sizes.

Q4. How many types of White starfish are there?

There are only two types of this species: The Smaller (also known as the Golden) and the Bigger (also known as the Red). They both have almost identical colorations, but they differ in size. The Smaller ones measure around 1 inch (2 cm) while the larger ones measure around 2 inches (5 cm).

Q5. Is it OK to touch white starfish?

If you have a white starfish in your hands, you should never touch it. They are very sensitive to human touch and can be easily injured by it. If you do touch them, they will stop feeding for up to 24 hours as they recover from the shock. They do not normally have any stinging cells or spines, but you may find some species that have small spines on their underside that can scratch you if you are not careful.

The best way to pick them up is by the central disc at the top of the arms and not by the actual arms themselves.

Q6. Do white starfish have brain?

White starfish or sea stars have no brain and no blood. Their nervous system is spread through their arms and organs below their skin so that they can react quickly to danger or food. The tube feet and spines of starfish move in response to light touch and chemicals.

Q7. Can White starfish survive out of water?

No, White starfish cannot live out of the water. They are aquatic creatures and require seawater to thrive. However, some species can survive for a few days without water but only if they are left in a moist environment.

They need water to survive and they will die quickly when on land! However, this doesn’t mean that they cannot leave the sea from time to time (some species can even leave the sea for months), but only if they can return in their natural habitat.


The White starfish is a very rare and unique creature. It is different from other members of its family.White starfish has been a great addition to the hobby. The most famous species White Starfish (Asterina) are often imported into the tank, with different color patterns.

Compared to other starfish species, keeping them might require special care, but they are still easy to keep and they are absolutely beautiful. So the white starfish will be your best decoration on the bottom of your aquarium tank. They are important to keep in a healthy community tank with hardy fish who will not be harmed by the presence of this type of starfish and can live together peacefully.

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