2

Odontaster validus

…is a species of seastar that is native to the Southern Ocean and the waters around Antarctica. Like other seastars O.validus is a scavenger and will feed on anything it can find. The only thing that O.validus does not attack is members of its own species, this seems to be due to chemoreceptors. It is thought that this helps them congregate en mass to food sources as well. They are also very sensitive to water changes and as such they have undergone much research to help understanding global warming. 

Phylogeny

Animalia-Echinodermata-Asteroidea-Valvatida-Odontasteridae-Odontaster-O.validus

Image(s): Norbert Wu

Beautiful coloured Starfish | ©Lynne Tuller  (Mombasa, Kenya)

This starfish is Pentaceraster mammillatus, a species in the family Oreasteridae (order valvatida), characterized by having interadial spines green with orange tubercles [1].

Sometimes this sea star is called Common Knobbed Starfish. The specific name mammillatus refers to the rows of nipple-like protuberances that cover the surface of the animal and give it a studded or armored appearance.

The known distribution of this starfish covers the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. In 2008 was documented its presence in Singapore waters [2].

Blue Sea Star by richard ling on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
A Blue Sea Star (Linckia laevigata) resting on hard Acropora coral. Lighthouse Bommie, Ribbon Reef #10, Great Barrier Reef

via scuba-padi.tumblr.com

Linckia multifora / ゴマフヒトデ

Linckia multifora

ヒトデです。超地味な写真です。
この水槽の前に行っても、「ゴマフヒトデ」と案内板が貼ってあるわけではないので、誰もゴマフヒトデの写真なんか撮らないのではないかと思います。私は撮るのですが。

This is a starfish. It’s a very low-key picture.
Even though watching this tank, it is not that the nameplate of “Linckia multifora” is displayed.
So I think nobody takes a picture of “Linckia multifora”. I do though.


Animalia Echinodermata Asteroidea Valvatida Ophidiasteridae
動物界 棘皮動物門 ヒトデ綱 アカヒトデ目 ホウキボシ科

Sumida Aquarium, Tokyo, Japan.
すみだ水族館

2

Horned Sea Star (Protoreaster nodosus)

Also known as the Chocolate Chip or Knobbed Sea Star, the horned sea star is a species of oreasterid sea star that occurs in warm, shallow waters in the Indo-Pacific. Like many other sea stars P. nodosus is an opportunistic carnivore and will feeds mainly on sessile invertebrates and other slow moving invertebrates. The “horns” which give P. nodosus its common name are used mainly to deter potential predators by making it look less palatable.

Classification

Animalia-Echinodermata-Asteroidea-Valvatida-Oreasteridae-Protoreaster-P. nodosus

Images: Kareji and Marta Maria Rubio Texeria

image

photo by Jerry Kirkhart

When you think of animals, think of this sea star, Asterina miniata. This true sea star is known as the bat star due to the webbing between its arms. It has fine, gill-like structures on its back for breathing, and simple, light-sensing eyes at the end of each arm. Sea stars eat by everting their stomach, secreting digestive juices to liquefy the prey, and slurping everything back inside. This star is omnivorous, consuming algae in addition to other animals.

Cushion star / マンジュウヒトデ

Culcita novaeguineae

片手サイズのマンジュウヒトデ。かわいい。

The hand-sized Cushion star. Cute.


Animalia Echinodermata Asteroidea Valvatida Oreasteridae
動物界 棘皮動物門 ヒトデ綱 アカヒトデ目 コブヒトデ科

Kushimoto Marine Park, Wakayama, Japan.
串本海中公園@和歌山県串本町

Egyptian Sea Star (Gomophia egyptiaca)
…a species of Ophidiasterid sea star which despite its common name is widely distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific (including the Red Sea). Like other sea stars Gomophia egyptiaca is omnivisrous feeding a range of sessile/slow moving organisms ranging from snails and sponges to algae.
Classification
Animalia-Echindoermata-Asteroidea-Valvatidae-Ophidiastridae-Gomophia-G. egyptiaca

2

"Blue Bat Star" (Patiria pectinifera)

…a species of asterinid sea star that occurs throughout the northern Pacific Ocean, along the coasts of Russia, China and Japan. P. pectinifera typically inhabits areas with coarse sediment and/or stony seabeds. Blue bat stars feed mainly on algae, detritus, sea grasses and occasionally small invertebrates.

Petiria pectinifera is commonly used as a model organism in developmental biology as they are easy to maintain and have large and transparent oocytes. Making them mainly used for studies of ooctye development.

Classification

Animalia-Echinodermata-Asteroidea-Valvatida-Leptognathina-Asterinindae-Patiria-P. pectinifera

Images: M.DOĞAN ÖZDEMIR ZAMAN

Iconaster longimanus - The Icon Star

Also known as Double Sea star, and Iconic star, Iconaster longimanus (Valvatida - Goniasteridae) is one of the most beautiful starfish you can find in the west and central Indo-Pacific Ocean.

This strikingly patterned species has long, thin arms and a flat disk. Like other starfish in Goniasteridae family, Iconaster longimanus has a characteristic double range of marginal plates bordering the disk and arms, that protect the starfish and give it a rigid feel. The plates may be pale or dark and form unique patterns on each individual. 

The aboral surface of the central disk (body) has plates arranged in tessellated manner that form a five-pointed star, hence its common name, Double Sea Star.

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credit: ©Divaholic

Locality: unknown

Lanzarote - Echinoderm - Smooth Starfish Hacelia attenuata | ©Tony J. Gilbert

Common names: Smooth Starfish, Gladde, Zeester, Étoile de mer, Glatter Seestern, Stella arancio, Estrella de mar lisa.

Hacelia attenuata is a starfish known from the Mediterranean Sea and some localities in the Atlantic .

Animalia - Echinodermata - Asteroidea - Valvatida - Ophidiasteridae - Hacelia - H. attenuata

[Source]

2

Cookie Star (Ceramaster patagonicus)

…a species of deep water sea star that is occurs throughout the Southern Ocean, the Strait of Magellan, Australian and New Zealand waters, and on the western coast of the Americas ranging from Cape Horn to Alaska. Like other sea stars the cookie star feeds mostly on sessile invertebrates like sponges. If assaulted by another predatory starfish (like S. dawsoni) the cookie star will not flee and let the star try to eat it, it will then be repelled by a toxic chemical that causes its attacker to retreat.

Classification

Animalia-Echinodermata-Asteroidea-Valvatida-Goniasteridae-Ceramaster-C. patagonicus

Images: NOAA/NMFS and Phil-Sellick

2

Pin-Cushion Starfish (Culcita novaeguineae)

…is a species of cushion star found throughout the tropical Indo-Pacific. Like all cushion stars this species sports extremely short arms and an inflated body, so inflated that the arms are barley visible, which makes the echinoderm look similar to a cushion. Cushion stats can often be seen on the bottom where they feed on small invertebrates, corals and organic materials. Like several other starfish species the pin-cushion starfish has a commensal relationship with several species of arthropods which live on the star and clean it. A species of fish has also been recorded living inside the starfish using it as shelter,

Phylogeny

Animalia-Echinodermata-Asteroidea-Valvatida-Oreasteridae-Culcita-novaeguineae

Image Source(s)

Biscuit Sea Star 

This is a Biscuit Sea Star, scientifically named Tosia australis (Valvatida - Goniasteridae), a typical species of southern Australia.

The shape of Tosia australis is quite distinctive, pentagonal (five-sided), with the plates at the end of each arm being swollen and enlarged. It differs from other sea stars by having shallow arcs between the arms, forming a distinctive pentagonal shape.

Usually there are six distinctive, thickened plates along each arm radius. Other similar species have seven plates. The rest of the upper surface is covered with plates that form an interesting jigsaw pattern. 

The upper surface colors may be greenish brown, with patches of red, pink, orange, cream, mauve, purple and black. The lower surface is normally cream, or dark grey, with some darker areas.

The Biscuit Sea Star is a moderately small species with its radius usually 20-30 mm, but may grow to 45 mm.

References: [1]

Photo credit: ©Saspotato

Locality: Blairgowrie Pier, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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