A cushion star (Asterina gibbosa)
|Researched by||Marie Skewes||Refereed by||Admin|
|Other common names||-||Synonyms||-|
Recorded distribution in Britain and IrelandCommon on all British coasts but sparse in the north-east and not recorded from Lincolnshire around to Hampshire
Global distributionFound in the Mediterranean, Azores and Canary Isles
HabitatFound under boulders and stones on the lower shore on sheltered and semi-exposed rocky coasts and also in rockpools. Extends into the sublittoral to depths of about 100 m.
- Sub-pentagonal; ventral surface flat but dorsal surface rounded.
- Mouth plates each bear two spines on the ventral side.
Additional informationAsterina gibbosa is a protandrous hermaphrodite: small or young individuals are males but as they become older and increase in size they develop into females. Asterina gibbosa may be distinguished from the morphologically similar Asterina phylactica which has a consistent colour pattern with a brown central star typically overlying the general background colour. There are rarely spines on the mouth plates of Asterina phylactica.
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Last Updated: 24/04/2008