|Researched by||Morvan Barnes||Refereed by||Admin|
|Authority||Emson & Crump, 1979|
|Other common names||-||Synonyms||-|
The cushion star, Asterina phylactica, is small five-armed starfish. Like all starfish, it has a star-shaped body with five equal length arms originating at a central disc. The lower surface of the central disc bears the mouth. A deep furrow runs from the mouth to the end of each arm. In each furrow are two rows of tube feet. Like similar starfish species, Asterina phylactica, has inconspicuous marginal plates, papulae on the all surfaces and a sharp edge between the upper and lower surfaces.
Asterina phylactica has a flattened body which can reach up to 15 cm in diameter and small compact arms. It can be distinguished from Asterina gibbosa and similar species by having very few ventral mouth plates and no radial thickenings. It has a grey-green upper surface with a conspicuous dark star-shape in the centre. It is pale underneath.
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Emson, R.H. & Crump, R.G., 1979. Description of a new species of Asterina (Asteroidea), with an account of its ecology. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 59, 77-94.
Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. (ed.) 1995b. Handbook of the marine fauna of North-West Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]
Mortensen, T.H., 1927. Handbook of the echinoderms of the British Isles. London: Humphrey Milford, Oxford University Press.
National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from: http://www.nbnatlas.org. Accessed 01 April 2017
OBIS, 2017. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2017-11-23
Picton, B.E., 1993. A field guide to the shallow-water echinoderms of the British Isles. London: Immel Publishing Ltd.
Southward, E.C. & Campbell, A.C., 2006. Echinoderms. The Linnean Society of London. Avon: The Bath Press. [Synopses of the British Fauna No. 56.]
Strathmann, R.R, Strathmann, M.F. & Emson, R.H., 1984. Does limited brood capacity link adult size, brooding, and simultaneous hermaphroditism? A test with the starfish Asterina phylactica. The American Naturalist, 123(6), 796-818.
WoRMS 2007. The World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS). http://www.marinespecies.org, 2008-10-31
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Last Updated: 27/03/2008