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Asterias rubens

Linnaeus, 1758

Common Starfish

Classification
Identification
Biology
Distribution
Links
Bibliography

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Classification   {MSG_BIOLOGY_LISTE_CATEGORIES}
Latin name : Asterias rubens ( Linnaeus, 1758)
Synonyms :
Classification : Asteroidea ( Sea stars )
 
Name : Etoile de mer commune
Astéride
Name : Common Starfish
Identification   {MSG_BIOLOGY_LISTE_CATEGORIES}
Main identification characters
Asterias rubens is the most common and familiar starfish in the north-east Atlantic region. Asterias rubens may grow up to 52 cm in diameter, but commonly 10-30 cm. Asterias rubens is variable in colour, though usually orange, pale brown or violet. Deep-water specimens are pale. It has five tapering arms, broad at the base that are often slightly turned up at the tip when active.
Possible confusions
Leptasterias muelleri is a smaller species and can be distinguished by its firmer spinier texture and characteristic spines.
Biology   {MSG_BIOLOGY_LISTE_CATEGORIES}
Feed
Common starfish feed on mussels, crustaceans, worms and echinoderms (starfish or sea urchins).
Cycle of life / Reproduction
Females release their eggs into the sea and the males respond to this by releasing sperm into the sea. Fertilisation happens externally. A single female is capable of releasing up to 2.5 million eggs. Fertilised eggs develop into larvae which are able to swim about. These larvae swim for about three weeks before settling and beginning metamorphosis into the more familiar and sedentary starfish.
Interaction with other species
Feel free to update this datasheet and complete this data.
Distribution   {MSG_BIOLOGY_LISTE_CATEGORIES}
Habitat

Rocks

Sand
Asterias rubens occurs in varying abundance upon a variety of substrata that include coarse and shelly gravel and rock. The common starfish is unusual in that it tolerates estuarine habitats. Its habitat range extends offshore for 400m.
Geographical distribution
They are abundant in the Atlantic ocean, and are found occasionally in the Mediterranean, although it is not native here.
Links   {MSG_BIOLOGY_LISTE_CATEGORIES}
Websites :
http://perso.wanadoo.fr/gasm.quimper/echinoderme/etoiles/cdr16Asterias [...]
http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/wildfacts/factfiles/418.shtml
http://www.itsligo.ie/biomar/ECHINODE/ASTRUB.HTM
http://www.marlin.ac.uk/index2.htm?demo/Astrub.htm
http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/art98/janstar.html
http://www.snv.jussieu.fr/bmedia/oursinMDC/p0oursin2.html

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Bibliography   {MSG_BIOLOGY_LISTE_CATEGORIES}
N/A
Data sheet written by Christophe Naslain , 20/01/2003

Updates :
Christophe Naslain - 20/01/2003


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