BIOTIC Species Information for Asterias rubens
|Researched by||Georgina Budd||Data supplied by||MarLIN|
|Refereed by||Prof. David Nichols|
|Typical food types||Bivalves, polychaetes, small crustaceans, other echinoderms and carrion.||Habit||Free living|
|Bioturbator||Not relevant||Flexibility||High (>45 degrees)|
|Height||Insufficient information||Growth Rate||0.2-1 cm/month|
|Adult dispersal potential||1km-10km||Dependency||Independent|
|General Biology Additional Information||Growth rate
There is considerable irregularity in the growth rate of starfish, especially during their first year.
Thus the plasticity of the growth rate of Asterias rubens causes difficulties when studying the population dynamics of this species, especially as individuals cannot be aged by inspection of growth rings in any skeletal component of the body (Barker & Nichols, 1983).
Detailed experimental studies (Castilla & Crisp, 1970, 1973; Castilla,1972) have established that Asterias rubens has a well developed olfactory sense with adaptive preferences and avoidances. Asterias rubens demonstrates positive rheotaxis (purposeful movement of a motile organism in to a water current), which is enhanced in the presence of living prey such as Mytilus edulis (Castilla, 1972 ) and reversed in the presence of a predator Crossaster papposus (Castilla, 1972b).
Other species of the benthic fauna, including prey species Marthasterias glacialis, Buccinum undatumand several species of ophiuroids, demonstrate avoidance reactions in the presence of the predatory starfish Asterias rubens (Feder & Arvidssen 1967; Russell, 1984). These species can detect Asterias rubens owing to the release of a surface-active saponin from its body surface (Mackie et al. 1968).
|Biology References||Fish & Fish, 1996, Sloan, 1980, Barker & Nichols, 1983, Mackie et al., 1968, Russell, 1984, Feder & Arvidsson, 1967, Vevers, 1949, Nichols & Barker, 1984 (b), Nichols & Barker, 1984, Hancock, 1958, Orton & Fraser, 1930, Castilla & Crisp, 1973, Castilla & Crisp, 1970, Castilla, 1972,|