Blood star

Henricia sanguinolenta

The blood star is a small or medium sized starfish that can be beautifully red or purple in colour. It is slim and the skin relatively smooth compared to the common starfish.

The blood star lives in the entire northern hemisphere, both in the Atlantic and the Pacific. It can be found anywhere from a beach level to a depth of thousands of meters, even deeper. It is usually found on hard bottom types.

Unlike other starfishes, the blood star guards its eggs and offspring until they crawl away. It is not as much a predator as the larger starfishes but instead filters out small plankton from the ocean.

Blood stars are often found in close proximity to other benthic filter feeders, e.g. sponges and tunicates that whirl up the sea as they filter. The blood star benefits from it, but also seems to eat a little bit of these animals.


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