ECHINODERMATA : VALVATIDA : AsterinidaeSTARFISH, SEA URCHINS, ETC.

Asterina phylactica Emson & Crump, 1979


Asterina phylactica

Description: A very small cushion star with a spiny dorsal surface. There is a star-like pattern of darker brown or green pigment along the centre of the arms and paler areas between the arms. As this species was only recognised recently little is known about it. Up to 1.5cm. across.

Habitat: A frequent species in some very exposed sites on the west coast of Ireland at 10 - 20m. Also found intertidally in large rock pools and on rocks.

Distribution: Known from the west coast of Ireland, Strangford Lough, and SW Britain. Also found in the Mediterranean.

Similar Species: Asterina gibbosa is morphologically similar but larger, more uni-coloured and not brood-rearing.

Key Identification Features:

Distribution Map from BioMar data for Ireland - Google Earth map:  download this placemark (not got Google Earth installed?)

Distribution Map from NBN: Grid map (fast) : Interactive map (slow, requires login to view records) : National Biodiversity Network mapping facility, data for UK.



 Picton, B.E. & Morrow, C.C., 2010. [In] Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland
http://www.habitas.org.uk/marinelife/species.asp?item=ZB1140

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