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Heliaster kubiniji Starfish Sunstar Star Fish Sea Star Echinoderma Asterozoa Asteroidea Heliasteriidae

  • Product Code: C26355
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Origin : Mexico

Heliaster kubiniji Starfish Sunstar with 23 arms cm 10-11.5 Star Fish Sea Star Echinoderma Asterozoa Asteroidea Heliasteriidae.
Some specimens may have multiple of 11 arms, plus more of regrowth.
Family: Heliasteriae.
Common name:
The Gulf Sun Star, The Common Sunstar or Estrella de Mar de Golfo.

Heliaster kubiniji is a species of starfish in the order Forcipulatida. It is found in the intertidal zone of the Pacific coast of California, Mexico and Nicaragua.
Young stars of the Gulf Sun that have recently undergone metamorphosis have five arms, but more arms grow as the animals get larger, and adults have nineteen to twenty-five arms. Large individuals are mauve in color with black and green spots and bands while juveniles are darker in color. It reaches up to a diameter of about 15 cm (6 inches).
The Gulf starfish is a predator and feeds on all edibles, including barnacles, bivalves, gastropod molluscs, sea anemones, chitons, sea cucumbers, and crabs. The larvae feed on plankton.
In 1978, a disease devastated the population of this starfish in the Gulf of California. It was previously very common on rocks and under boulders in the lower and middle intertidal zone, with a density of up to one individual per square metre. Population declines have been associated with higher-than-normal water temperatures and changes caused by an El Niño event. The starfish nearly became extinct in the gulf and had still not recovered in many parts by 2000. Since this starfish is a top predator, its virtual demise was expected to have profound effects on the ecosystem. However, the murex Morula ferruginosa increased in abundance and kept the barnacles that the starfish had previously fed on in check and the ecosystem in balance.

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