Story: Starfish, sea urchins and other echinoderms

Snake star

Snake star

The photo shows a snake star wrapped around two branches of black coral. Snake stars live in a mutually beneficial association with black coral; nearly every colony of black coral supports one or more of this species. They feed on the tiny polyps that are a living part of the coral, and at the same time clear away silt and debris that might smother the coral. Snake stars may be dark red, yellow, pale, striped or spotted, but all forms seem to belong to a single species.

Using this item

Department of Conservation
Reference: 10041070

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Maggy Wassilieff, 'Starfish, sea urchins and other echinoderms - Other echinoderms', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 17 August 2022)

Story by Maggy Wassilieff, published 12 Jun 2006