Cushion Star is a type of starfish, but it’s not like the starfish you might be thinking of. It has short arms and it looks puffy, kind of like a cushion. That’s why it’s called the Cushion Star!
Cushion Star can be many different colors. You can find this starfish in warm tropical waters. It likes to hang out in the Indo-Pacific area.
The scientific name of Cushion Star is Culcita novaeguineae.
What’s Special About the Cushion Star’s Name?
Here’s a fun fact. The Cushion Star has a lot of names!
Scientists often got confused because the young Cushion Stars look a lot different from the grown-ups. So, they thought they were different types of starfish and gave them different names.
Some scientists even thought they were from a different family of starfish. But, they are all Cushion Stars!
Here is a list of some other names that people have given the Cushion Star:
- Anthenea spinulosa,
- Culcita grex,
- Culcita pentagularis,
- Culcita pulverulenta,
- Goniaster multiporum,
- Goniaster sebae,
- Goniodiscides sebae,
- Goniodiscus sebae,
- Hippasteria philippinensis,
- Hosia spinulosa,
- Pentagonaster spinulosus,
- Randasia granulata.
What Does a Cushion Star Look Like?
A grown-up Cushion Star looks like a big, puffy pillow. It can grow up to 12 inches wide. That’s about the length of a ruler!
If you look at Cushion Star’s underside, you’ll see rows of tiny tube feet and a mouth right in the middle. It can be in many different colors, like brown, orange, yellow, and green.
Cushion Star’s body is covered with hard bits called calcareous ossicles that protect it.
Baby Cushion Stars start out looking more like regular starfish, with five short, fat arms. As they grow, they start to puff up and look more like cushions.
Where Does the Cushion Star Live?
Cushion Stars are found in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. They live in many places from Madagascar and the Seychelles to the Philippines, New Guinea, Australia, and even Hawaii.
What Does the Cushion Star Eat?
Cushion Stars are not picky eaters. They like to munch on small bits of plants and animals, and even tiny corals.
If you have a big enough aquarium with the right kind of corals, you could even keep a Cushion Star as a pet.
Who Lives with The Cushion Star?
Cushion Stars are like little underwater hotels. They have many tiny animals living on them and even inside them.
There’s a small shrimp called Periclimenes soror that likes to hide under the Cushion Star. Some tiny bugs called copepods live on the outside of the Cushion Star.
There’s even a fish called the star pearlfish that lives inside the Cushion Star!
Cushion Star Characteristics
|Reef Safe?||With care|
|Maximum Size:||30 cm (11.8 in)|