Astropecten articulatus
Family Astropectinidae

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Abundance: very common Distribution: most common mid-shelf (20-30m)
also found at shelf-edge (100m)

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Dorsal ( left) and ventral views: Arms (rays) are approximately 5 cm in length.

This species has characteristic deep blue or purple coloration of the dorsal granulose paxillae,
with orange marginal plates. A fringe of paired white spines surrounds each arm.

Ventral views, showing numerous ambulacral spines and tube feet within the five ambulacral
grooves (left). The stellate mouth opening (right) has a set of 5 spine-covered jaws.

The madreporite (just above central disk) may be pale orange and slightly raised.
This feature has pores that connect to the seastar's water vascular system.

Left: Astropecten articulatus is one of the most abundant seastar species on the continental
shelf off the southeast U.S. coast
. (These specimens were returned to the sea.)
Many individuals can have arms as long as 9 cm.