|Researched by||Sonia Rowley||Refereed by||Admin|
|Authority||(M'Andrew & Barrett, 1857)|
|Other common names||-||Synonyms||-|
Each of the northern feather stars ten arms has numerous neat side branches giving the appearance of a feather. Its arms are 7-15 cm long and may be brown, yellow, white, pinky-red, or banded red and white. Like starfish, the arms are connected to a central disc. Beneath the central disc, feather stars have slender and pure white hair-like legs, each with 40-50 joints, used for crawling or holding on to the substratum. The cirral joints close to the underside of the central disc (the centrodorsal plate) are twice as long as they are broad, whereas those further away are as long as they are broad. This and the far dorsal edge being slightly swollen, gives the cirri a slightly scalloped appearance. Feather stars can be seen to spread its arms out in vertical fan to catch food in passing currents.
Leptometra celtica may be mistaken for Antedon bifida or Antedon petasus. Individuals have been observed to spread out their arms into a vertical fan across the current when in areas of moderate water flow. Antedon present at the same site was not observed to show this behaviour (Picton, 1993). Two annelid species of the genus Myzostoma have been associated with the arms and disc of this species (Southward & Campbell, 2006).
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Last Updated: 25/01/2007