Bat Star (Asterina miniata)

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Coldwater Marine Aquatics recommends you keep these animals in 55F-60F water.

 The Bat star (Asterina miniata), also known as Sea bat, Webbed star,Bat Man and Broad-disk star, is an echinoderm of class Asteroidea (commonly known as sea stars). It typically has five arms, with the center disk of the animal being much wider than the stubby arms are in length.[2] Although the bat star usually has five arms, it sometimes has as many as nine.[3] Bat stars occur in many of colors, including green, purple, red, orange, yellow and brown, either mottled or solid.[3] The bat star gets its name from the webbing between its arms, which is said to resemble a bat's wings.[4]

The bat star is usually found in the intertidal zone at an average depth of 79 metres (259 ft).[5] Its range extends from Sitka, Alaska to Baja California in the Pacific Ocean.[3] It is most abundant along the coast of Central California and the Monterey Bay.[2]

Bat stars are important as detritivores and scavengers, collecting algae and dead animals from the ocean floor and helping keep the ocean healthy.

Photos: Stuart Wobbe

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