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Asterias vulgaris (2)

  • Product Code: C18113


Origin : Atlantic Ocean

starfish "sugar", cm 6-7.

The common starfish, common sea star or sugar starfish (syn. Asterias rubens) is the most common and familiar starfish in the north-eastern Atlantic. Belonging to the Asteriidae family, it has five arms and reaches 30 cm in diameter, although larger specimens are known (up to 52 cm in diameter). Its color is usually orange or brown and sometimes purple; deep water samples are pale. It is able to survive in brackish water. It lives on rocky and gravelly substrates where it feeds on molluscs and other benthic invertebrates.
These include bivalve molluscs, polychaete worms, barnacles, gastropod molluscs, other echinoderms and carrion. When it feeds on a mollusk like a mussel, it fixes its ambulacral pedicels to each valve and exerts a force to separate them slightly. Even a slit of just 1 mm is enough to make the starfish insert a fold in the stomach, which secretes enzymes that begin to digest the body of the molluscs. When the contents are sufficiently liquid, return your stomach to its original position with the food inside. The common starfish has a well developed sense of smell and can detect the smell of prey like the common mussel (Mytilus edulis) and crawl towards it. It can also detect the smell of other predatory starfish and perform an evasive action.
Asterias vulgaris is dioecious, which means that every individual is male or female. In spring, the females release the eggs in the sea. It is estimated that a moderate-sized starfish is capable of producing 2.5 million eggs. Males lose their sperm and fertilization occurs in the water column. The larvae are planktonic and wander for about 3 months before settling on the sea floor and undergoing metamorphosis in young. Asterias vulgaris is believed to live for seven to eight years and can survive starvation for several months even if it loses weight in the process.

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