The Chocolate Chip Starfish can also be known as Horned Starfish due to its horn like projections on the body. It is a member of Oreasteridae, and exhibits a stout body with short and thick arms along with chocolaty colored knobs which looks like Chocolate chips on the aboral region, the surface without the mouth. These knobs are meant to deter predators, by making the Chocolate Chip Starfish very difficult to swallow whole. The Chocolate Chip Starfish has a common opening through which the food enters and also the waste exits. It eats by excreting their orange-colored stomach out of the mouth and onto their prey. As the prey is digested, the stomach slowly pulls it back into the mouth. The Chocolate Chip Starfish comes in a variety of shades ranging from light brown or cream to a brilliant deep orange. The Chocolate Chip Starfish is mainly found all over the sea grass beds and sandy areas, and chiefly lives in shallow water areas. It is indigenous to the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean and Red Sea. The Chocolate Chip Starfish feeds on remains of dead plants and animals, sponges, waste products by using their sense of smell as they don?t have eyes. It requires high water quality and low nitrate levels in order to thrive well in the tank. Since it is very slow moving animal, we suggest you not to house them with triggerfish and puffer fish which might attack your starfish. Also, the Chocolate Chip Starfish is not considered reef safe, as it attacks soft corals, tubeworms, clams and therefore is appropriate for a very large aquarium. There is no distinctive feature between male and female, hence the breeding is very difficult in captivity. The Chocolate Chip Starfish should never be exposed to air and rapid changes in water parameters, since it cannot tolerate both.
The Chocolate Chip Starfish is a very popular starfish for fish-only aquariums. They are usually brown, tan, orange, or black in color with black thorns in the center of their disk, which resemble chocolate chips. These starfish are very hardy and eat algae and meaty foods. They should be fed regularly. Chocolate Chip Stars will spend the day cruising along rockwork and aquarium glass. They will often be seen climbing to the top of an aquarium and bending back an arm or two at the surface, but they will not crawl out of the aquarium. These starfish are very active and make great additions.They tend to eat corals, clams, and oysters.Starfish are intolerant of sudden changes in oxygen levels, salinity and pH of the water, and cannot tolerate copper-based medications. The drip acclimation method is highly recommended for all Sea Stars due to their intolerability to changes in water chemistry. It should never be exposed to air while handling.Echinoderms are central disc organisms that use tube feet or spines to move their bodies. Sea Stars belong to the Class Asteroidea. This is made up of Starfish that usually have five arms with hundreds of small tube feet called podia lined on the underside of each arm. These arms are shaped like triangles and are connected to the central disc. Each podia is equipped with a suction cup end that allows for ease of movement and to control prey. On the underside of this disc is the mouth of the Starfish. Some Stars will release their stomach out from this mouth to engulf their prey.Photo by saltwaterfish.com member, 987654321: Jeff Bettis.