#Biodiversity150 number 6 of 150 Rainbow Sea Star

4/150: Rainbows and Death in the Canadian Pacific

Animalia: Echinodermata: Asteroidea: Forcipulatida : Asteriidae: Orthasterias: Orthasterias koehleri (Deloriol, 1897)

Did you see Star Wars Rogue One? Don’t worry if you missed it! Our latest member of our Canada 150 posts is a Sea Star, and it’s a rogue one; the only species in its genus! An uncommon species known as the rainbow star or red-banded star, it is found along the North American coast of the Pacific Ocean at depths of up to 250 meters.Like other sea stars, it is a predator, which feeds by everting its stomach, wrapping it around the prey, liquefying it with digestive enzymes, and then bringing the contents back inside. It is currently one of several sea star species being threatened by a disease known as Sea Star Wasting Syndrome: a viral disease that ends in body fragmentation and death. #Canada150 #Biodiversity150 #SpeciesAtRisk

Rainbow Star in its natural habitat. Photo Credit: Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife goo.gl/4xWibq
A sea star with Sea Star Wasting Syndrome. Photo Credit: Alison Leigh Lilly goo.gl/s8D85K

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID: DSPEC523-08

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:AAD4189

Title Image: Specimen DSPEC523-08 – Vancouver Island – Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre
Photo Credit: CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics