Echinaster sepositus

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Echinaster sepositus
Echinaster sepositus Linosa 092.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Echinodermata
Class: Asteroidea
Order: Spinulosida
Family: Echinasteridae
Genus: Echinaster
Species: E. sepositus
Binomial name
Echinaster sepositus
Retzius, 1805

Echinaster sepositus, the Mediterranean red sea star (sometimes only red sea star, but this name is also used for other species), is a species of starfish from the East Atlantic, including the Mediterranean Sea.[1][2]

Description[edit]

E. sepositus has five relatively slender arms around a small central disc. It usually has a diameter of up to 20 cm (8 in), but can exceptionally reach up to 30 cm (12 in).[3] It is a bright orange-red in colour, and has a soapy surface texture unlike superficially similar Henricia starfish (another somewhat similar species from the same region is Ophidiaster ophidianus). The surface is dotted with evenly spaced pits from which the animal can extend its deep red gills (papullae).[4][5]

Distribution[edit]

E. sepositus is found in the East Atlantic north of the Equator, including the Mediterranean Sea where it is one of the most common starfish (although virtually absent from some localities).[1][3] Its northern limit is the English Channel, but only on the French side.[5] It is found at depths of 1 to 250 m (3–820 ft) in a wide range of habitats, including rocky, sandy and muddy bottoms, and sea grass meadows (Posidonia oceanica and Zostera).[3][5][6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Villamor, A.; and M. A. Becerro. (2010). Matching spatial distributions of the sea star Echinaster sepositus and crustose coralline algae in shallow rocky Mediterranean communities. Marine Biology 157: 2241-2251.
  2. ^ Raisch, A. (2012). Variation of Habitat for Echinaster sepositus and Implications for Habitat Preference. University of California Santa Cruz, Marine Biology.
  3. ^ a b c European Marine Life: Echinaster sepositus. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  4. ^ "Echinaster sepositus. Red Starfish". Encyclopedia of Life. Retrieved 2013-05-15. 
  5. ^ a b c "Red starfish - Echinaster sepositus". MarLIN. Retrieved 2013-05-15. 
  6. ^ Villamor, A.; R. Espluga; and M.A. Becerro (2010). Feeding habits of the common sea star Echinaster sepositus and its ecological implications on Mediterranean shallow rocky bottoms. (résumé). VI Simposio Ibérico de Estudios de Biología Marina, Alicante, Spain.