|ECHINODERMATA : FORCIPULATIDA : Asteriidae||STARFISH, SEA URCHINS, ETC.|
Description: This starfish is large and has five very spiny arms. Each arm bears three longitudinal rows of spike-like spines surrounded by large cushions of pedicellariae. Smaller spines may be scattered between these rows. The spines are white and usually purple-tipped and the animal varies in colour from dirty brown to greenish-grey with purple tips to the arms. Up to 35cm or more in diameter.
Habitat: This species may be found in a very wide range of habitats from sheltered muddy sites to fully exposed rockfaces. Specimens from sheltered sites are usually larger than those from exposed sites.
Distribution: Apparently confined to the southwest and west coasts of the British Isles, also north to Scandinavia.
Similar Species: Small individuals might be mistaken for Leptasterias muelleri.
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: JNCC MNCR Seasearch data - Grid map : Interactive map : National Biodiversity Network mapping facility, data for UK.
|Picton, B.E. & Morrow, C.C., 2010. [In] Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland |
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