The Mediterranean red sea star

This colorful starfish is bright red or orange-red and its size ranges from ~1cm when it is young to ~20cm as an adult. This common sea star lives mainly in the Mediterranean Sea, but can also be encountered in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean and the French side of the English Channel. It inhabits a wide range of habitats ranging from -1 and- 250m, including rocky and sandy bottoms as well as sea grass meadows. This starfish reproduces sexually by releasing its male and female gametes into the water column, and interestingly, has a strong regenerative capacity enabling him to reform an injured arm in only a few weeks. Because of its bright color, the Mediterranean red sea star has suffered from overfishing as its dried body is a favorite souvenir for tourists.

This portrait is part of an interactive and itinerant photo exhibition illustrating the beauty and fragility of the organisms that live in the Mediterranean Sea, and that started in 2014 in Nice, France. To see the full exhibition, please click here.

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