Northern starfish (Leptasterias (Leptasterias) muelleri)
|Researched by||Sonia Rowley||Refereed by||This information is not refereed|
|Authority||(M. Sars, 1846)|
|Other common names||-||Synonyms||-|
Recorded distribution in Britain and IrelandCommon around most western British coasts with a few recordings on the east and south coasts of England.
Found in the North Sea below Norway, north Atlantic between Iceland and Greenland as well as the northeast coast of America.
HabitatThe green morph of this species can be found intertidally under rocks and in rock pools on moderately or very exposed shores. This species can be found down to 800 m.
Depth range0-800 m
- A spiny starfish, typically 6 cm in diameter.
- Five arms, broad at the base but taper towards the tip.
- Four rows of tube feet bearing sucking discs.
- Colour pink, violet or green with pale arm tips.
Additional informationLeptasterias (Leptasterias) muelleri breeds during March-April and the mother does not feed during this time. She puts her arms together and raises her back to provide a protective space to place her eggs. There is no larval stage as the embryos develop and leave the mother after the first three pairs of tube feet have appeared.
This speceis may be mistaken for small individuals of Marthasterias glaciallis or Asterias rubens. However, it is distinguished from Asterias rubens by densely packed spines and a single papulae, in the spaces between the spines, on its upper surface.
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NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from: https://www.nbnatlas.org.
OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System), 2023. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2023-11-30
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Last Updated: 17/04/2008