Seeing stars: A new descriptor for Linckia sea stars?

by B. N. Sullivan

Linckia sea stars all have plump, cylindrical arms, making the genus easy to recognize.  Earlier this month we posted a photo of a purple sea star, Linckia multifora.  Our fellow diver and underwater photographer Andrew Cooper commented that, to him, Linckia sea stars look like something a five year old would make out of Play-Doh.  We instantly liked that description --  it struck us as particularly apt.

So, here are two more examples of what we shall think of henceforth  as the Play-Doh sea stars, thanks to Andrew. (Check out Andrew's blog, A Darker View.)

The sea star in the first image below is Linckia laevigata.  The sea star in the second image probably is L. multifora (but we couldn't swear to it).  Both were photographed at Indonesia's Bunaken Marine Park.

Linckia laevigata

Linckia sp.


  1. A worth moniker! They are so colorful and strange looking...

  2. I have enjoyed your starfish - the purple ones are so beautiful and all of them are so different from the ones we have here.

  3. I can definitely see where the play-doh reference came from. These starfish have a very soft, thick, tubular quality to their legs.


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