The Cortez Starfish, also known as the Cryptic Cushion Star, is a fascinating and unique species of starfish that is found in the Pacific Ocean, ranging from California to Panama. It has a flattened body that is covered in small spines, and it typically has a beige or brown coloration with occasional dark spots. This starfish is a very popular species in the aquarium hobby due to its hardiness and ability to thrive in a wide range of aquarium setups. In the wild, the Cortez Starfish is a scavenger that feeds on detritus and other small organisms, such as small crustaceans, mollusks, and worms. In an aquarium, this species can be fed a variety of meaty foods, such as shrimp, clam, and squid, as well as commercial prepared foods designed for omnivorous invertebrates. It’s important to avoid overfeeding and to remove any uneaten food, as excess food can decay and negatively impact the water quality in the aquarium. Caring for the Cortez Starfish in an aquarium is relatively simple, as they are hardy and adaptable creatures. They prefer an aquarium with plenty of live rock and a sandy substrate, which provides them with plenty of hiding spots and surfaces to cling to. This species also prefers a moderate water flow and moderate to high lighting, as it helps support the growth of beneficial algae and other organisms that the starfish can consume. When handling a Panamic Cushion Starfish, it’s important to be gentle and avoid touching the tube feet or spines, as they can be easily damaged.