BIOTIC Species Information for Leptasterias muelleri
Researched byMorvan Barnes Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
Scientific nameLeptasterias muelleri Common nameNorthern starfish
MCS CodeZB102 Recent SynonymsAsterias mulleri

PhylumEchinodermata SubphylumAsterozoa
Superclass ClassAsteroidea
Subclass OrderForcipulatida
Suborder FamilyAsteriidae
GenusLeptasterias Speciesmuelleri

Additional Information
Taxonomy References Howson & Picton, 1997, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Mortensen, 1927, Foltz et al., 1996,
General Biology
Growth formRadial
Feeding methodOmnivore
Environmental positionEpifaunal
Typical food typesBenthic invertebrates including molluscs, worms and ophiuroids as well as carrion, decaying seaweed and microorganisms. HabitFree living
BioturbatorNot researched FlexibilityHigh (>45 degrees)
FragilityIntermediate SizeMedium(11-20 cm)
HeightNot researched Growth RateInsufficient information
Adult dispersal potential1km-10km DependencyIndependent
General Biology Additional Information
Biology References Clark & Downey, 1992, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Mortensen, 1927, Picton, 1993, Southward & Campbell, 2006,
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandCommon around most western British and Irish coasts with few recordings on the east and south coasts of England.
Global distributionFound in north-west Europe from the Arctic south to northern France.
Biogeographic rangeBoreal to temperate. Depth range0 - 800 m
MigratoryNon-migratory / Resident   
Distribution Additional Information

Substratum preferencesBedrock
Large to very large boulders
Under boulders
Crevices / fissures
Physiographic preferencesOpen coast
Offshore seabed
Strait / sound
Enclosed coast / Embayment
Biological zoneLower Eulittoral
Sublittoral Fringe
Upper Infralittoral
Lower Infralittoral
Upper Circalittoral
Lower Circalittoral
Circalittoral Offshore
Bathybenthic (Bathyal)
Wave exposureVery Exposed
Moderately Exposed
Tidal stream strength/Water flowStrong (3-6 kn)
Moderately Strong (1-3 kn)
SalinityFull (30-40 psu)
Habitat Preferences Additional Information
Distribution References Clark & Downey, 1992, NBN, 2002, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Mortensen, 1927, Southward & Campbell, 2006,
Reproduction/Life History
Reproductive typeGonochoristic
Developmental mechanismDirect Development
Reproductive SeasonMarch to April Reproductive LocationAs adult
Reproductive frequencyAnnual protracted Regeneration potential Yes
Life span3-5 years Age at reproductive maturityInsufficient information
Generation timeInsufficient information Fecundity100 to 1,000 or more
Egg/propagule size0.8-1.2 mm Fertilization typeExternal
Larval/Juvenile dispersal potentialNot relevant Larval settlement periodNot relevant
Duration of larval stageNot relevant   
Reproduction Preferences Additional Information
Reproduction References Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Picton, 1993, Southward & Campbell, 2006, McEdward & Janies, 1993, Britt & Petersen, 1982, McEdward & Miner, 2001,
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