What Do Starfish Eat: Starfish Feeding Guide

The starfish is one of the amazing inhabitants of the undersea world. They are also called sea stars. Despite that they are inhabitants of the ocean, they are not literally fish. They have exceptional physical formations that recognize them from a common fish. These beings are characterized in the Phylum Echinodermata and class Asteroidea.

As specified by marine biologists, there are two thousand species of starfish. They are mostly found in different kinds of sea inhabitants like seagrass, rocky shores, coral reefs, bed, and kelp. Some are even located below the sand. This article will find out their features and what they eat in the ocean and aquarium.

The starfish has unique physical appearances. The size of the starfish starts from one to ten inches each. Dependent on the species, the existence of starfish can range from two to thirty-five years. Starfish are available in different colors, such as pink, red, brown, and orange.

Starfish have five or more arms, and they could get fifty in a lot of situations. They don’t have normal eyes like other species. They have eyespots found at the tip of each arm to hunt foods and sense light.

What Do Starfish Eat?

A starfish is a carnivore, signifying that it eats other animals. Since starfish are slow doers, they eat animals that glide slowly. They normally feed on mussels, coral, clams, sponges, and sand dollars since this animal glides slowly. They are also attached to rocks that are close by.

Several starfish will also feed on other animals like fish, especially if it’s injured. They also eat cucumbers, sea urchins, shrimp, and tubeworms. They eat plants such as seagrass and algae that are dead or decomposing.

In the Ocean

The majority of the starfish are carnivorous and predatory, denoting that they chase their own prey. Here is a listing of things that they usually eat in the ocean:

  • Crustacean – It is an aquatic Arthropod with a sectional body, coupled limbs, and often with a shell covering that undergoes peeling.
  • Barnacles – Barnacles can look like mollusks because of their shell covering, but they are crustaceans identified with shrimps, crabs, and lobsters.
  • Hermit Crab – It features a curled tail with a hook that allows their bodies to fit inside the paralleled shell. There are 800 varieties of hermit crabs around the world.
  • Coral Polyps – Coral polyps are small, soft-bodied living forms affiliated with sea anemones and jellyfish.
  • Oyster – Oyster shells are generally oval or egg-shaped though they will change in form varying in what they attach to. They are usually whitish-gray on the outside and porcelain white on the inside.
  • Plankton – They are organisms and tiny in size. They don’t swim on their own. Instead, they float in water. There are two kinds of plankton: the phytoplankton, a plant, and zooplankton, an animal.
  • Sea Snail – Sea snails belong to the group of marine gastropods that are located around the globe. They can live on land, in freshwater or saltwater, and can be herbivores or omnivores and carnivores. They can change in color from vivid orange or pale violet or from ivory to brown.
  • Sea Urchin – Sea urchins are usually thorny that belong to the class of Echinoidea. Their hard-shells are round and thorny, normally from 3 to 10 cm across. They crawl slowly with their tube feet and typically shoving themselves through their spines.
  • Sponges – The sponge belongs to the phylum Porifera. It has several cells with no mouth, heart, brain, and muscles. It’s stationary, and it can’t move from place to place. A sponge can expand in plants.
  • Tube Worms – They are marine invertebrates that are a member of the family of polychaete annelid worms. These odd creatures were found in 1977, and since then, more than 300 species of tubeworms were discovered.
  • Sea Anemones – It is next of kin to coral and jellyfish. They have incisive polyps and spend most of their time on coral reefs or sea bottom. They use their tentacles filled with venom to capture their prey.
  • Chitons – They are flat and symmetrical marine mollusks found mostly in warm regions. They are egg-shaped and covered with a hard girdle. It has a big, flat foot that hangs on to rocks.
  • Sand Dollars – They are also known as “sand cake” or “sea biscuit” in other parts of the globe. It is flat, purple, and hairy and mostly found in tropical and continent waters in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • Gastropod – Gastropods have a single, typically spherically twisted shell. It has a muscle-bound foot used for crawling, and it can be adapted for burrowing or swimming. It has a well-rounded head that has eyes, nervous tissue, and two pairs of tentacles.
  • Hydroids – Hydroids have a round body with a mouth-like vent enclosed by tentacles. They are water organisms related to corals, jellyfish, and sea anemones.
  • Fish Eggs – They are also called caviar or roe, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Fish eggs are round, and several components like proteins, yolk inclusions, and lipid droplets are found.
  • Seaweed – It is a term for numerous types of marine plants and algae that grow in the ocean, rivers, lakes, and other water bodies. Seaweed is loaded with fiber, minerals, vitamins and can be appetizing.
  • Sea Cucumbers – Sea cucumber belongs to the animal group labeled echinoderms. The shape of their body is like cucumber, and they have tiny tube feet which are used for moving and feeding. The sea cucumbers usually change in size from less than an inch to six feet.
  • Clams – A clam is a kind of shellfish that can be found in seawater and freshwater. Several clams can also be seen in lakes, rivers, and streams. Most of these creatures are fastened to rocks. They have tunneling feet which they used to tunnel down to the sand.
  • Squid – The squid is found in both ocean and coastal waters. They are perhaps quick swimmers. Squids feature long, tube-shaped bodies and thick heads. They have elongated thin tentacles with extended ends and four series of rough suckers and rough rings.
  • Detritus – It is a dead, fine particle of organic material and well known from decomposed organic material.
  • Polychaetes – They are known as bristle worms or a member of the annelid worms. The body of the polychaete has a part of plum protrusions labeled as parapodia. It has several bristles labeled as chaetae made up of chitin. There are 10,000 species found in this class.

In The Aquarium

If you have a starfish in your aquarium, you will try to find the best food for your pet. Starfish are slow-moving and ground-feeding creatures and choose to stay stuck on the glasses of the tank. Starfish are good tank cleaners, and so you can keep them in the aquarium.

  • Algae – These are various groups of marine organisms that have the capability to carry out photosynthesis. There are familiar algae just like seaweed, algal blooms, and pond scum. They have chlorophyll, but they don’t have stems, leaves, roots, and vascular tissue.
  • Frozen Shrimp – Shrimps are classified as crustaceans. They have extensive and tight brawny tails, elongated whiskers, and thin legs. Shrimps are usually isolated. However, they can come in bigger groups during the breeding season.
  • Food Flakes – Food flakes are foodstuff that has been refined into fine layers. Different ingredients are used, and there are several kinds of food flakes. It is made for different needs and species of starfish, such as pond flakes and cichlid flakes.
  • Dried Prawn – They are tiny aquatic crustaceans with seashells and ten legs. A number of these creatures can be eaten. The word “prawn” is especially used in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the Commonwealth states.
  • Mussels – You can incorporate mussels in the aquarium to feed your starfish. They are moderately oval or rounded, and it has a long and formless shell. They can live in saltwater and freshwater.
  • Boiled green vegetables – A few types of starfish can feed on boiled vegetables. They can eat boiled green vegetables, kale, and spinach. Different kinds of starfish have different needs, and not all of them eat vegetables.

How Do Starfish Eat?

Researchers have figured out the unique way starfish eats. They have detected a granule that allows starfish to fulfill the unique way of eating in this mother nature.

A starfish eats by stretching its stomach out of its mouth and beyond the edible part of its victims like clams and mussels. The tissue is partly digested outside, and the extract that has been formed is retracted into its digestive glands.

Starfish have two mouths and stomachs. This includes the one they stretch outside to get the food and the underbellies of their bodies. Motion is the big secret to their victory in eating. The motion also allows them to notice moving food alternatives.

How To Feed A Pet Starfish?

The starfish is an ideal addition as a pet in your aquarium. However, they could be high maintenance, and close monitoring is needed. It is necessary to pay attention to their diet.

In terms of feeding, you are obliged to do research relative to the breed of your starfish. It is easier for them to eat when the food is handed immediately to them. There is some breed of starfish that can eat right through your hand.

Generally, starfish should be given food every two to three days. You can find out the quantity by putting down the food near the starfish. If the starfish eats the food right away, the starfish is hungry. You can change your feeding schedule to prevent the starfish from getting very hungry.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Has there been any freshwater starfish?

Starfish are completely saltwater or marine creatures. There’s no record of any kind that has been spotted to live in natural freshwater.

2. How many babies can a starfish foster?

A female starfish could reproduce 65 million eggs instantly. They can multiply even they don’t have brains and blood.

3. Will a starfish eat humans?

No, starfish don’t feed on human beings. Human beings have firm skin, and starfish may not be able to digest it.

4. Is starfish edible?

These creatures are not eaten as a food commodity anyplace in the world. Starfish are generally toxic, and there are federal regulations on the sale of this creature in some states.

5. Are starfish considered fish?

Starfish do not scientifically fit the identification of a fish. Starfish don’t have fins, scales, and lack gills. But starfish still exist in aquatic, and they are part of the aquatic environment.

6. Will starfish consume your pet fish coral reefs in the aquarium?

A certain breed of starfish is totally safe to place with your other aquatic pets. For instance, the crown of thorn starfish can eat your corals because it’s part of their natural diet. If you want to put up an aquarium, make sure that your chosen breed of starfish will get along with your other aquatic pets.

7. How quick can a starfish travel?

A starfish can move or travel at speeds of about 0.6 miles an hour.

8. How will you keep a starfish alive?

You can keep your starfish longer by preventing the use of copper-based treatment as they’re poisonous to starfish. You can maintain your tank clean by installing an efficient pumping and filtration system. And remember to change 15 percent of the water every week.

9. What is the ultimate risk to starfish?

The ultimate risk to starfish is coral reef devastation.

10. What are some hunters for starfish?

The hunters of starfish consist of turtles, birds, fish, and otters.


Starfish are well known for their extraordinary physical appearances, and they are one of the dynamic dwellers in the undersea world. They also have an extraordinary physical shape that differentiates them from a typical fish. They are usually located in rocky watersides, seaweed, seagrass, and coral reefs with nearly two thousand species.

Aside from their extraordinary appearances, starfish are also well known for their extraordinary ways of eating food. They have two mouths and two stomachs. They digest food through a significant enzyme. These creatures are truly unique in their own ways.

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