Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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Dragon Sensory Hours: The dragons will be asleep from 2 to 4:30 p.m. daily.

Stimpson’s Sun Star

Solaster stimpsoni

Solaster Stimpsoni is the most common of the four species of Solaster corals. It has ten and occasionally nine arms up to 23 cm long. Their body is usually a shade of orange with a blueish purple band on each arm and connects at the central disc.

Range & Habitat

Their range is within the south Bering Sea to Oregon and Japan and occur within the intertidal zone to below 60 meters in depth. They are found attached to rocky substrates. 

Conservation Status: Not Evaluated


Stimpson’s sun star feed primarily on small sea cucumbers, such as Cucumaria miniate, Cucumaria curate, Eupentacta quinquesemita, and others. This species also feed on other organisms such as sea squirts, lamp shells, and sea pens.

Life Span


Fun Facts about the Stimpson’s Sun Star

  • Sun star embryos hatch into planktonic larvae and further metamorphosize into juveniles sea stars with short arms
  • The name was created for Sol=sun, aster=star; Stimpson= after William Stimpson, a naturalist at the Smithsonian Institution in the 1800’s.
  • The Morning Sunstar, Solaster dawsoni feeds upon the Stimpson sea star and even individuals of its own species.




Lambert, P Solaster stimpsoni Verrill, 1880. Klinkenberg, Brain. (Ed) E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atalas of the Fauna of British Columbia . Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. E-Fauna BC Atlas Page (src: AtlasAccordian) ( Retrieved July 18, 2021.

Updated June 13, 2023
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