Spiny Starfish

Spiny Starfish

Found from extreme low water to about 200m. It can be found in a variety of habitats from sheltered muddy sites to wave exposed rock faces. This starfish is recorded from the South West and West coast of England and the West coast of Scotland. 

Zoo Diet

At Living Coasts the starfish are fed once a day on mussel meat, sometimes still in the shell for enrichment.

Wild Diet

Smaller individuals feed on algae and small gastropods, with larger starfish able to eat bivalves and carrion. 


Spiny starfish spend their time foraging on the seabed, they are very active predators. 


In Ireland, groups of males and females have been recorded in shallow water in July and August. This is thought to be to spawn. Fertilisation is external, with eggs and sperm being released into the sea.


No current threats are known.


There is no current conservation work for this species.

Spiny Starfish


  • Latin Name: Marthasterias glacialis
  • Order: Forcipulatida
  • Family: Asteriidae
  • Conservation Status: Data Deficient
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