Leather stars get their name because they are smooth and slippery to the touch, like wet leather. They are bluish gray with red and orange mottling. Their five arms are boarder and shorter than many other stars, and they can range in size up to 12”.
Range & Habitat
Leather Stars can be found in harbors and rocky shores from Alaska to California. They abide in tide pools and intertidal zones and in some cases use man-made objects (docks, pilings) in order to search for food.
Conservation Status: Not Evaluated
Consists of an omnivorous diet; they occasionally fed on algae but primarily consume sea anemones, sea cucumbers, and occasionally other invertebrates and sponges
In Human Care: Unknown
Fun Facts about the Leather Star
- Leather Stars are also known as garlic stars because they excrete a garlic like smell; this is one of their defense mechanisms.
- When the species feed, the starfish climbs over top and swallows their prey whole and digest it internally.
Brietzke, C. and Starzomski B. 2013. Biodiversity of the Central Coast. Accessed June 11, 2021 at https://www.centralcoastbiodiversity.org/leather-star-bull-dermasterias-imbricata.html
Klinkenbert, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia ]efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouve. Accessed 2021-06-11 from http://linnet.geog.ubc.ca/efauna/Atlas/Atlas.aspx?sciname=Dermasterias%20imbricata
Oregon Coast Aquarium (2021). Leather Star. Retrieved June 11, 2021, from https://aquarium.org/animals/leather-star/