Asterias rubens


A familiar seashore inhabitant, the Common Starfish lives up to its name. It is found from the lower shore and further out. It is a predator, feeding on shellfish including cockles, mussels and barnacles.

How to identify

The commonest starfish, often washed up in large numbers, or found around the low tide mark and in rockpools. It has five arms, is usually orange in colour, and has many small pale spines.

Where to find it

Found on all British and Irish coasts, particularly among beds of mussels and barnacles.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

Our seas and coastline are in need of protection if we are to keep our marine wildlife healthy. The Wildlife Trusts are working with fishermen, researchers, politicians and local people towards a vision of 'Living Seas', where marine wildlife thrives. This work has recently had a massive boost with the passing of the Marine Bill, promising sustainable development of the UK's marine environment. Do your bit for our Living Seas by supporting your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Latin name
Asterias rubens
Urchins and starfish
Diameter: 10-30cm Average Lifespan: 5-10 years
Conservation status