This is a species of sea star found on around the intertidal zone of the Upper Gulf of California and some surrounding areas. It is known mostly for its many legs arranged in almost a sun-shape. It, like all sea stars, has five-part symmetry in its body. It is also one of the most common species of sea stars.
It was once common to see these unique creatures around the upper gulf. Once, they were among the top predators in the upper gulf. However, in recent years, their population has steeply declined. The drastic decrease in population was caused by unusual increase of water temperature in 1978, which reportedly killed off over 95% of the sun star’s population in the gulf. Because these creatures look so unique, many people are willing to pay for sun star specimens, and harvesting further exasperates their decline in population. They are rarely found in the upper gulf these days. Locals and tourists are encouraged to leave any specimens that they find in the wild alone.