ID of hitchhikers


New member

I have two hitchhikers in my tank that I haven't been able to positively identify. The first is attached to the shell of an Astraea turbo snail, and looks to me like an abalone:


Not a great image, here's another view:


But according to Wikipedia, "the majority of abalone species are found in cold water ...". I keep my tank at 78 degrees. Perhaps this is something else, but it sure looks like an abalone.

The second hitchhiker is definitely a starfish, but it is quite dramatically blue. It's about 5 mm across and the five arms are quite symmetrical:


I can't find any references to blue Asterinas..

Does anyone recognize these?




First one, although hard to tell from the pics, looks like a limpet and the second is definitely an Asterina starfish - there is great variation in these, both shape and color.


New member
Thanks for the replies.

I'll keep an eye on the starfish. This is a fairly new setup, and I have one soft coral (green star polyps). The blue starfish was on the rock that the coral is attached to. He came off when I dipped the coral, and I rescued him. He's nowhere near the coral now, but if he goes back there, he is history.

I don't think the mollusk on the turbo snail shell is a limpet, but I could be wrong. Limpets seem to have a shell that looks like a flattened cone. This guy's shell looks like a flattened spiral. He's been on the snail shell since I got the snail about a month ago. Maybe I will be able to get a better photo.

Thanks again,



New member
some Asterinas are reported to eat corals. but i find most are harmless, but they grow so many in numbers i find them ugly and unsightly. i would take it out if you see it again. my friend has to have about 10000 in his take