Bloody Henry starfish (Henricia oculata)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.Map Help

Summary

Description

A stiff rigid starfish with a sandpapery texture to the dorsal surface. This species comes in a wide variety of colour forms, reds, browns, purples and yellows. Sometimes the disc and inner portions of the arms is much darker than the outer part of the arms, as though the animal has been splashed with paint. The dorsal spinelets are more opaque and irregular than in Henricia sanguinolenta.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

All round Ireland except perhaps for the east coast. South-east England round to the west coast northwards to northern Scotland.

Global distribution

South, West and North coasts of Britain and Ireland. West Channel and Brittany.

Habitat

Found on a variety of substrata on open coasts.

Depth range

0 - 100

Identifying features

  • Five tapering stiff arms.
  • Sandpaper like texture.
  • Dorsal spines blunt and covered with skin.

Additional information

Sometimes confused with Henricia sanguinolenta.

Listed by

- none -

Biology review

Taxonomy

LevelScientific nameCommon name
PhylumEchinodermata
ClassAsteroidea
OrderSpinulosida
FamilyEchinasteridae
GenusHenricia
Authority(Pennant, 1777)
Recent Synonyms

Biology

ParameterData
Typical abundanceData deficient
Male size range<200mm
Male size at maturity>18mm
Female size range>18 mm
Female size at maturity
Growth formStellate
Growth rate0.3 - 1% body wt/day
Body flexibility
MobilityCrawler or Walker
Characteristic feeding methodNot relevant, Passive suspension feeder
Diet/food sourceOmnivore
Typically feeds onSuspended matter, detritus layer, sponges, hydroids, ectoprocts
SociabilitySolitary
Environmental positionEpifaunal
DependencyIndependent.
SupportsHost

Asterocheres lillyeborgi

Is the species harmful?No

Biology information

  • Size at maturity refers to the radius. Adults typically around 100 mm.
  • Stomach eversion is an important supplement to suspension feeding.
  • The parasitic cyclopoid copepod Asterocheres lillyeborgi has more than a 90% occurrence

Habitat preferences

ParameterData
Physiographic preferencesOpen coast
Biological zone preferencesLower circalittoral, Lower infralittoral, Sublittoral fringe, Upper circalittoral, Upper infralittoral
Substratum / habitat preferencesBedrock, Cobbles, Gravel / shingle, Large to very large boulders, Pebbles, Small boulders
Tidal strength preferences
Wave exposure preferencesExposed, Moderately exposed, Very exposed
Salinity preferencesFull (30-40 psu)
Depth range0 - 100
Other preferencesNo text entered
Migration PatternNon-migratory or resident

Habitat Information

Henricia oculata is occasionally found exposed to the air at low spring tides (Campbell pers comm.).

Life history

Adult characteristics

ParameterData
Reproductive typeGonochoristic (dioecious)
Reproductive frequency Annual protracted
Fecundity (number of eggs)100-1,000
Generation timeInsufficient information
Age at maturityNot relevant
SeasonMarch - April
Life span2-5 years

Larval characteristics

ParameterData
Larval/propagule type-
Larval/juvenile development Direct development
Duration of larval stageNo information
Larval dispersal potential Greater than 10 km
Larval settlement periodInsufficient information

Life history information

  • Females have ripe eggs between March and April, males have mature sperm throughout the year.
  • Maturity dependent on size rather than age.

Sensitivity reviewHow is sensitivity assessed?

Physical pressures

Use / to open/close text displayed

 IntoleranceRecoverabilitySensitivityEvidence / Confidence
Substratum loss [Show more]

Substratum loss

Benchmark. All of the substratum occupied by the species or biotope under consideration is removed. A single event is assumed for sensitivity assessment. Once the activity or event has stopped (or between regular events) suitable substratum remains or is deposited. Species or community recovery assumes that the substratum within the habitat preferences of the original species or community is present. Further details

Evidence

The species is an epifaunal crawler that occupies a broad range of substrata. Loss of the substratum would result in death. Although the adults are mobile they probably don't move long distances so adult immigration is unlikely to play a large role in recovery. The species can live for up to five years and matures at quite small sizes. Up to 500 eggs are broadcast spawned into the water column so larval dispersal potential is considerable. Reproduction occurs over a protracted period so is less likely to be affected by adverse environmental conditions.
High High Moderate Low
Smothering [Show more]

Smothering

Benchmark. All of the population of a species or an area of a biotope is smothered by sediment to a depth of 5 cm above the substratum for one month. Impermeable materials, such as concrete, oil, or tar, are likely to have a greater effect. Further details.

Evidence

The species is able to move by slow crawling. It does not typically live on sediment so smothering by sediment may cause locomotion problems. Crawling back up through the sediment may not be possible. Henricia oculata frequently suspension feeds so changing the substratum for one month would have little effect on the ability to feed. Although the adults are mobile they probably don't move long distances so adult immigration is unlikely to play a large role in recovery. The species can live for up to five years and matures at quite small sizes. Up to 500 eggs are broadcast spawned into the water column so larval dispersal potential is considerable. Reproduction occurs over a protracted period so is less likely to be affected by adverse environmental conditions.
Intermediate High Low Low
Increase in suspended sediment [Show more]

Increase in suspended sediment

Benchmark. An arbitrary short-term, acute change in background suspended sediment concentration e.g., a change of 100 mg/l for one month. The resultant light attenuation effects are addressed under turbidity, and the effects of rapid settling out of suspended sediment are addressed under smothering. Further details

Evidence

Henricia oculata frequently suspension feeds, increased siltation may clog or interfere with this mechanism requiring extra energy expenditure to clear the feeding apparatus. Recovery occurs once feeding is no longer impaired, energy expenditure is returned to normal and condition is restored.
Low Very high Very Low Low
Decrease in suspended sediment [Show more]

Decrease in suspended sediment

Benchmark. An arbitrary short-term, acute change in background suspended sediment concentration e.g., a change of 100 mg/l for one month. The resultant light attenuation effects are addressed under turbidity, and the effects of rapid settling out of suspended sediment are addressed under smothering. Further details

Evidence

No information
Desiccation [Show more]

Desiccation

  1. A normally subtidal, demersal or pelagic species including intertidal migratory or under-boulder species is continuously exposed to air and sunshine for one hour.
  2. A normally intertidal species or community is exposed to a change in desiccation equivalent to a change in position of one vertical biological zone on the shore, e.g., from upper eulittoral to the mid eulittoral or from sublittoral fringe to lower eulittoral for a period of one year. Further details.

Evidence

Henricia oculata is generally only found subtidally although is occasionally exposed at low spring tides. If it was exposed to the air it would probably not be able to move fast enough to return to the water rapidly. Although the adults are mobile they probably don't move long distances so adult immigration is unlikely to play a large role in recovery. The species can live for up to five years and matures at quite small sizes. Up to 500 eggs are broadcast spawned into the water column so larval dispersal potential is considerable. Reproduction occurs over a protracted period so is less likely to be affected by adverse environmental conditions.
Intermediate High Low Low
Increase in emergence regime [Show more]

Increase in emergence regime

Benchmark. A one hour change in the time covered or not covered by the sea for a period of one year. Further details

Evidence

Henricia oculata is only found subtidally and if the emergence regime changed, it probably has sufficient mobility to move to a location that is not subject to emergence.
Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive Low
Decrease in emergence regime [Show more]

Decrease in emergence regime

Benchmark. A one hour change in the time covered or not covered by the sea for a period of one year. Further details

Evidence

No information
Increase in water flow rate [Show more]

Increase in water flow rate

A change of two categories in water flow rate (view glossary) for 1 year, for example, from moderately strong (1-3 knots) to very weak (negligible). Further details

Evidence

The species has sufficient mobility to move out of the area of altered water flow. An altered water flow rate may interfere with suspension feeding ability. The species does not rely entirely on passive suspension feeding but is also an active omnivore. Recovery occurs once feeding is no longer impaired and condition is restored.
Low Very high Very Low Low
Decrease in water flow rate [Show more]

Decrease in water flow rate

A change of two categories in water flow rate (view glossary) for 1 year, for example, from moderately strong (1-3 knots) to very weak (negligible). Further details

Evidence

No information
Increase in temperature [Show more]

Increase in temperature

  1. A short-term, acute change in temperature; e.g., a 5°C change in the temperature range for three consecutive days. This definition includes ‘short-term’ thermal discharges.
  2. A long-term, chronic change in temperature; e.g. a 2°C change in the temperature range for a year. This definition includes ‘long term’ thermal discharges.

For intertidal species or communities, the range of temperatures includes the air temperature regime for that species or community. Further details

Evidence

The species has quite a restricted global distribution. Long term temperature changes will cause the population to die (or to move location). Rapid, acute temperature increase will probably also cause death. A short term decrease in temperature will probably just cause inactivity. Although the adults are mobile they probably don't move long distances so adult immigration is unlikely to play a large role in recovery. The species can live for up to five years and matures at quite small sizes. Up to 500 eggs are broadcast spawned into the water column so larval dispersal potential is considerable. Reproduction occurs over a protracted period so is less likely to be affected by adverse environmental conditions.
High High Moderate Low
Decrease in temperature [Show more]

Decrease in temperature

  1. A short-term, acute change in temperature; e.g., a 5°C change in the temperature range for three consecutive days. This definition includes ‘short-term’ thermal discharges.
  2. A long-term, chronic change in temperature; e.g. a 2°C change in the temperature range for a year. This definition includes ‘long term’ thermal discharges.

For intertidal species or communities, the range of temperatures includes the air temperature regime for that species or community. Further details

Evidence

No information
Increase in turbidity [Show more]

Increase in turbidity

  1. A short-term, acute change; e.g., two categories of the water clarity scale (see glossary) for one month, such as from medium to extreme turbidity.
  2. A long-term, chronic change; e.g., one category of the water clarity scale (see glossary) for one year, such as from low to medium turbidity. Further details

Evidence

Behaviour is not dependent on ambient light. The species is found down to 100 metres where light availability is very limited.
Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive Low
Decrease in turbidity [Show more]

Decrease in turbidity

  1. A short-term, acute change; e.g., two categories of the water clarity scale (see glossary) for one month, such as from medium to extreme turbidity.
  2. A long-term, chronic change; e.g., one category of the water clarity scale (see glossary) for one year, such as from low to medium turbidity. Further details

Evidence

No information
Increase in wave exposure [Show more]

Increase in wave exposure

A change of two ranks on the wave exposure scale (view glossary) e.g., from Exposed to Extremely exposed for a period of one year. Further details

Evidence

Wave action in extremely exposed areas may be too great for the species to maintain position on substrata. A change of two ranks means that the species is likely to be subject to lower wave exposure conditions than its preferred range. Although the adults are mobile they probably don't move long distances so adult immigration is unlikely to play a large role in recovery. The species can live for up to five years and matures at quite small sizes. Up to 500 eggs are broadcast spawned into the water column so larval dispersal potential is considerable. Reproduction occurs over a protracted period so is less likely to be affected by adverse environmental conditions.
Intermediate High Low Low
Decrease in wave exposure [Show more]

Decrease in wave exposure

A change of two ranks on the wave exposure scale (view glossary) e.g., from Exposed to Extremely exposed for a period of one year. Further details

Evidence

No information
Noise [Show more]

Noise

  1. Underwater noise levels e.g., the regular passing of a 30-metre trawler at 100 metres or a working cutter-suction transfer dredge at 100 metres for one month during important feeding or breeding periods.
  2. Atmospheric noise levels e.g., the regular passing of a Boeing 737 passenger jet 300 metres overhead for one month during important feeding or breeding periods. Further details

Evidence

The species is unlikely to respond to noise vibrations
Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive Low
Visual presence [Show more]

Visual presence

Benchmark. The continuous presence for one month of moving objects not naturally found in the marine environment (e.g., boats, machinery, and humans) within the visual envelope of the species or community under consideration. Further details

Evidence

Starfish have photoreceptors but cannot resolve moving objects so will not respond to visual disturbance.
Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive Low
Abrasion & physical disturbance [Show more]

Abrasion & physical disturbance

Benchmark. Force equivalent to a standard scallop dredge landing on or being dragged across the organism. A single event is assumed for assessment. This factor includes mechanical interference, crushing, physical blows against, or rubbing and erosion of the organism or habitat of interest. Where trampling is relevant, the evidence and trampling intensity will be reported in the rationale. Further details.

Evidence

Physical disturbance or impact by due to a scallop dredge is likely to cause some physical damage to Henricia oculata but starfish have well documented regenerative abilities (see Asterias rubens).
Low Very high Very Low Low
Displacement [Show more]

Displacement

Benchmark. Removal of the organism from the substratum and displacement from its original position onto a suitable substratum. A single event is assumed for assessment. Further details

Evidence

The species is mobile and displacement would not affect the species.
Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive Low

Chemical pressures

Use [show more] / [show less] to open/close text displayed

 IntoleranceRecoverabilitySensitivityEvidence / Confidence
Synthetic compound contamination [Show more]

Synthetic compound contamination

Sensitivity is assessed against the available evidence for the effects of contaminants on the species (or closely related species at low confidence) or community of interest. For example:

  • evidence of mass mortality of a population of the species or community of interest (either short or long term) in response to a contaminant will be ranked as high sensitivity;
  • evidence of reduced abundance, or extent of a population of the species or community of interest (either short or long term) in response to a contaminant will be ranked as intermediate sensitivity;
  • evidence of sub-lethal effects or reduced reproductive potential of a population of the species or community of interest will be assessed as low sensitivity.

The evidence used is stated in the rationale. Where the assessment can be based on a known activity then this is stated. The tolerance to contaminants of species of interest will be included in the rationale when available; together with relevant supporting material. Further details.

Evidence

Insufficient
information
No information No information No information Not relevant
Heavy metal contamination [Show more]

Heavy metal contamination

Evidence

Insufficient
information
No information No information No information Not relevant
Hydrocarbon contamination [Show more]

Hydrocarbon contamination

Evidence

Insufficient
information
No information No information No information Not relevant
Radionuclide contamination [Show more]

Radionuclide contamination

Evidence

Insufficient
information
No information No information No information Not relevant
Changes in nutrient levels [Show more]

Changes in nutrient levels

Evidence

Insufficient
information
No information No information No information Not relevant
Increase in salinity [Show more]

Increase in salinity

  1. A short-term, acute change; e.g., a change of two categories from the MNCR salinity scale for one week (view glossary) such as from full to reduced.
  2. A long-term, chronic change; e.g., a change of one category from the MNCR salinity scale for one year (view glossary) such as from reduced to low. Further details.

Evidence

Species lives only in fully saline habitats. A reduction of one salinity rank would result in the species being exposed to conditions outside its preferred range. Although the adults are mobile they probably don't move long distances so adult immigration is unlikely to play a large role in recovery. The species can live for up to five years and matures at quite small sizes. Up to 500 eggs are broadcast spawned into the water column so larval dispersal potential is considerable. Reproduction occurs over a protracted period so is less likely to be affected by adverse environmental conditions.
Intermediate Moderate Moderate Low
Decrease in salinity [Show more]

Decrease in salinity

  1. A short-term, acute change; e.g., a change of two categories from the MNCR salinity scale for one week (view glossary) such as from full to reduced.
  2. A long-term, chronic change; e.g., a change of one category from the MNCR salinity scale for one year (view glossary) such as from reduced to low. Further details.

Evidence

No information
Changes in oxygenation [Show more]

Changes in oxygenation

Benchmark.  Exposure to a dissolved oxygen concentration of 2 mg/l for one week. Further details.

Evidence

Cole et al. (1999) suggest possible effects on marine species below 4 mg/l and probable effects below 2mg/l. There is no information about Henricia oculata tolerance to changes in oxygenation..
Intermediate Moderate Moderate Low

Biological pressures

Use [show more] / [show less] to open/close text displayed

 IntoleranceRecoverabilitySensitivityEvidence / Confidence
Introduction of microbial pathogens/parasites [Show more]

Introduction of microbial pathogens/parasites

Benchmark. Sensitivity can only be assessed relative to a known, named disease, likely to cause partial loss of a species population or community. Further details.

Evidence

Insufficient
information
No information No information No information Not relevant
Introduction of non-native species [Show more]

Introduction of non-native species

Sensitivity assessed against the likely effect of the introduction of alien or non-native species in Britain or Ireland. Further details.

Evidence

Insufficient
information
No information No information No information Not relevant
Extraction of this species [Show more]

Extraction of this species

Benchmark. Extraction removes 50% of the species or community from the area under consideration. Sensitivity will be assessed as 'intermediate'. The habitat remains intact or recovers rapidly. Any effects of the extraction process on the habitat itself are addressed under other factors, e.g. displacement, abrasion and physical disturbance, and substratum loss. Further details.

Evidence

It is very unlikely that this species would be extracted.
Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant Low
Extraction of other species [Show more]

Extraction of other species

Benchmark. A species that is a required host or prey for the species under consideration (and assuming that no alternative host exists) or a keystone species in a biotope is removed. Any effects of the extraction process on the habitat itself are addressed under other factors, e.g. displacement, abrasion and physical disturbance, and substratum loss. Further details.

Evidence

The species has no known obligate relationships.
Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant Low

Additional information

Importance review

Policy/legislation

- no data -

Status

Non-native

ParameterData
Native-
Origin-
Date Arrived-

Importance information

-none-

Bibliography

  1. Brun, E., 1976. Ecology and taxonomic position of Henricia oculata Pennant. Thalassia Jugoslavica 12, 51-64.

  2. Campbell, A., 1994. Seashores and shallow seas of Britain and Europe. London: Hamlyn.

  3. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  4. Nichols, D., 1969. Echinoderms (4th ed.). London: Hutchinson & Co.

Datasets

  1. Centre for Environmental Data and Recording, 2018. Ulster Museum Marine Surveys of Northern Ireland Coastal Waters. Occurrence dataset https://www.nmni.com/CEDaR/CEDaR-Centre-for-Environmental-Data-and-Recording.aspx accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-09-25.

  2. Fenwick, 2018. Aphotomarine. Occurrence dataset http://www.aphotomarine.com/index.html Accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-01

  3. Fife Nature Records Centre, 2018. St Andrews BioBlitz 2014. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/erweal accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-27.

  4. Fife Nature Records Centre, 2018. St Andrews BioBlitz 2015. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/xtrbvy accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-27.

  5. Fife Nature Records Centre, 2018. St Andrews BioBlitz 2016. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/146yiz accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-27.

  6. Isle of Wight Local Records Centre, 2017. IOW Natural History & Archaeological Society Marine Invertebrate Records 1853- 2011. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/d9amhg accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-27.

  7. Manx Biological Recording Partnership, 2017. Isle of Man wildlife records from 01/01/2000 to 13/02/2017. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/mopwow accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  8. Manx Biological Recording Partnership, 2018. Isle of Man historical wildlife records 1990 to 1994. Occurrence dataset:https://doi.org/10.15468/aru16v accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  9. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from: https://www.nbnatlas.org.

  10. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2024. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2024-03-02

  11. Outer Hebrides Biological Recording, 2018. Invertebrates (except insects), Outer Hebrides. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/hpavud accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  12. South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre, 2018. SEWBReC Marine and other Aquatic Invertebrates (South East Wales). Occurrence dataset:https://doi.org/10.15468/zxy1n6 accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.

  13. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, 2018. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Shoresearch. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/1nw3ch accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Jackson, A. 2008. Henricia oculata Bloody Henry starfish. In Tyler-Walters H. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 02-03-2024]. Available from: https://marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/1131

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Last Updated: 24/04/2008