The Dalmatian Linckia (Linckia multifora) is a starfish, a marine (saltwater) invertebrate, because it has no backbone. It is also called the Spotted Linckia or Multicolour Sea Star. It is not a fish.
The starfish is an echinoderm (meaning prickly skin) in the Asteroidea class (meaning star-shaped).
It has five elongated tube limbs (feet or arms) pink or reddish mottled with white and yellow colours that taper slightly towards the tips.
The surface has a rough texture and is covered in granulations.
This starfish can grow to a diameter of 5-13 centimetres (2-5 inches).
Its mouth is in the centre of the arms on the lower surface. It is a detritivore, which means that it eats detritus found on sponges and algae. Detritus is the decomposing or dead parts of an animal.
It can regenerate its limbs if they become damaged or broken. It can also lose a limb on purpose to confuse a predator. The limb will grow back. This is called autotomy.
Its predators include pufferfish, triton shells, shrimp, and sea anemones.
It can breed both sexually and asexually.
It is found in the Red Sea and in the Indian Ocean, in the reefs of Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, the Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, and Tanzania. It lives in coral reefs and beds of sea grass.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM