Seanet Mid Intertidal

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Leptasterias aequalis (Stimpson, 1862)
Phylum Echinodermata, Cass. Asteroidea, Order Forcipulatida, Family Asteriidae

Six armed sea star; arm radius to 4 cm; mottled green, purple or red with irregular white bands.

Common in pools & under rocks, mid- & low intertidal zones & subtidal; protected outer coast. Generalist predator, feeds on small snails, small mussels & barnacles, sea cucumbers. In winter, females brood eggs to juvenile stage under oral disc and do not feed during incubation. 

Geo Range: Puget Sound to southern California
Synonyms: formerly referred to as Leptasterias hexactis, which is probably a northern species.
Similar species: the small 6-armed sea stars of the Pacific coast are a complex of species that are difficult to distinguish in the field.

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