Giant Spined Star

Giant Spined Star

Pisaster giganteus

Physical Description

The Giant Spined Star features arms with a radius reaching up to 30 cm, although smaller sizes are more common in Monterey kelp forests. Its tan body is adorned with striking white, pink, or purple spines encircled by a blue ring around the base.


This species is highly abundant, typically found on rocks and occasionally on sandy substrates.

Geographical Range

The Giant Spined Star ranges from British Columbia to Baja California along the eastern Pacific coast.


As the most common predatory sea star in the Monterey region, it has a generalist diet that includes barnacles, vermetids, turban snails, and various other sessile species.