Linckialaevigata (Blue Linckia, or blue star) Littledale Shoal, Brunei, 15m
L. laevigata are pretty common residents at many of the dive sites here. I love how they add a gorgeous splash of colour on the reef. These beautiful blue sea stars (starfish) can grow quite large, up to about 30cm (12in) in diameter.
L. laevigata is considered detritivorous, using its tube feet to scoot around the reef eating algae, detritus and other benthic goodies it comes across. Like other sea stars it can shed an arm to evade predators, regenerating the lost limb over time.
This species is extremely common in the aquarium trade, but it appears that most animals in the trade are wild-caught, not captive bred. L. laevigata are not well-suited to aquariums as they are extremely sensitive and water parameters need to be kept absolutely perfect. They can live up to 10 years in the wild, but suffer in captivity where their life spans are very much shorter. Please don’t buy in to the wild-caught animal trade!
Classification Animalia - Echinodermata - Asteroidea - Valvatida - Ophidiasteridae - Linckia - L. laevigata