Habitat: Prefers the shallow, calm waters of reef flats, lagoons, and mangrove channels. Distribution: North Carolina through the Caribbean to Brazil, as well as Cape Verde and Western Africa. Natural History Notes: This seastar is probably the most widely known and most easily identified member of the Caribbean marine biota. It is often dried and sold as gifts. O. reticulatus feeds primarily on microorganisms and the particulate matter associated with sand, seagrass, and algal substrates, but has the ability to graze on algae or prey upon other echinoderms. The stomach is everted to envelop prey, and digestion occurs outside the body. The triton gastropod Charonia variegata is the only confirmed predator of the adult sea star; juveniles are consumed by fish. Depth: 1-37m Characteristics: Individuals are robust and can reach a diameter of 50cm. The massive central disk is inflated and supports five short, slightly tapering arms. The plates carry numerous prominent tubercles. The lower surface is flat.