Animalia > Echinodermata > Asteroidea > Valvatida > Acanthasteridae > Acanthaster > Acanthaster planci

Acanthaster planci (crown-of-thorns starfish)

Synonyms: Acanthaster echinites; Acanthaster echinus; Acanthaster ellisi; Acanthaster mauritiensis; Acanthaster pseudoplanci; Acanthaster solaris; Asterias echinites; Asterias echinus; Asterias planci; Asterias solaris; Stellonia echinites

Invasive Species

Coral gardens from Micronesia and Polynesia provide valuable marine resources for local communities and environments for native marine species such as marine fish. In coral ecosystems already affected by coral bleaching, excess tourism and natural events such as storms and El Nino, the effects of the invasive coral-feeding starfish (Acanthaster planci) on native coral communities contributes to an already dire state of affairs. Acanthaster planci significantly threatens the viability of these fragile coral ecosystems, and damage to coral gardens by the starfish has been quite extensive in some reef systems.
View ISSG Record: Acanthaster planci


Water Biome [1]  Reef, Coastal


Prey / Diet

Gardineroseris planulata (Coral)[2]
Millepora intricata[2]
Pavona chiriquiensis (Leaf coral)[2]
Pavona clavus (Leaf coral)[2]
Pavona gigantea (Leaf coral)[2]
Pavona varians (Leaf coral)[2]
Pocillopora damicornis (Brush coral)[2]
Pocillopora elegans (Cauliflower coral)[2]
Pocillopora eydouxi (Coral)[2]
Porites lobata (Finger coral)[2]
Psammocora stellata[2]


Charonia tritonis (Atlantic trumpet triton)[3]
Cheilinus undulatus (Blue-tooth groper)[3]
Hymenocera picta (harlequin shrimp)[2]
Pherecardia striata[2]


Parasitized by 
Pterastericola vivipara[4]

Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Institution Infraspecies / Breed 
Bristol Zoo Gardens
Burger's Zoo
John G. Shedd Aquarium


West Indian Ocean; Mascarene Basin; Eastern Africa & Madagascar; Red Sea; Kenya; Red Sea; Aldabra; Red Sea; Seychelles; Seychelles; Aldabra; Chagos; Cargados Carajos; Mozambique; Madagascar; Aldabra; Red Sea; West Indian Ocean; Mozambique; Tanzania; Mauritius; Madagascar; Palau Islands; New Zealand Exclusive Economic Zone;



Attributes / relations provided by 1Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at 2Food-Web Structure and Dynamics of Eastern Tropical Pacific Coral Reefs: Panamá and Galápagos Islands, Peter W. Glynn, Food Webs and the Dynamics of Marine Reefs, eds. Tim R. McClanahan & George M. Branch, p. 185-208 (2008) 3Clownfish and their Host Anemones ;; NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program 4Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
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Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access