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February 21, 2020
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Title Chocolate Chip Starfish

Tanner Crawford

Last Updated



A beefy starfish with a baked good look

Chocolate Chip Starfish

Protoreaster nodosus


The chocolate chip starfish is one of the most renowned invertebrates in the hobby due to their unique “chocolate chips” and large body structure. They are from the Indo-Pacific region and can be found in shallow water all the way down to depths of 50+ feet. They are active and move around searching for food to eat.

The distinct features/chips are called tubercles and are raised pieces that are often a brown or black color. The chocolate chip starfish can vary in color from a yellow to dark brown color depending on diet. They love to dig into sand for protection and feeding (CS8448). There are many types of fish that can safely be housed with these starfish but they must be protected from tank mates that can eat them or damage their soft tissue. They can reach a max size of over a foot so a larger tank is suitable for their growth and diet.

The chocolate chip starfish are not suited for a reef tank due to their carnivorous diet. They should instead be kept in a tank with sand and live rock and given meaty foods such as krill (SF8174) or silversides and krill (SF8174) 

Consider adding a chocolate chip starfish to your fish only saltwater aquarium and see if you can spot their favorite spot in your tank!


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