Chocolate Chip Sea Star

(Protoreaster nodosus)

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IUCN Conservation Status
Not Evaluated (NE)


Found on coral reefs and in seagrass beds to depths of about 100 feet (33 m)


16 inches across

The large black bumps that resemble chocolate chips to us, make the sea star look less appetizing to potential predators. The dark bumps vary in size, color and placement between individuals. Like human fingerprints, there are no two identical chocolate chip sea stars. The dark bumps can erode over time so older sea stars' bumps tend to be more rounded than younger individuals.

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