Sunflower Star

Photo Credit: Janna Nichols


  • Species Common Name Sunflower Star
  • Species Scientific Name Pycnopodia helianthoides


Special needs

Sunflower stars occur in lower intertidal and subtidal habitat. They are voracious predators, feeding on clams, snails, chitons, urchins, sand dollars, asteroids, crabs, and other invertebrates.

Limiting factors

Larval supplies and episodic recruitment affect abundance and distribution. Prey availability and susceptibility to sea star wasting syndrome may be further limiting factors.

Conservation actions

Prevent disturbance, urban runoff, and sewage spills. Monitor status of populations at index sites. Gather information to fill data gaps.