Image Keith Hiscock - Small spiny starfish. Image width ca 18 cm.
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Marthasterias glacialis is not listed under any importance categories.
|Phylum||Echinodermata||Starfish, brittlestars, sea urchins & sea cucumbers|
|Class||Stelleroidea||Starfish, sea stars, cushion stars and brittlestars|
|Recorded Distribution in Britain and Ireland||Marthasterias glacialis is recorded from the southwest and west coast of England and the west coast of Scotland. It has only been recorded at one site on the east coast (St Abbs, Scotland) and has not been recorded in the eastern English Channel.|
|Habitat information||Marthasterias glacialis is found from extreme low water to about 200 m. It can be found in a variety of habitats from sheltered muddy sites to wave exposed rock faces.|
|Description||Marthasterias glacialis is a large starfish up to 70 cm across, commonly 25-30 cm. It has 5 narrow tapering arms with 3 rows of longitudinal spines along each arm. The spines are white, usually with purple tips. spines are surrounded by specialised minute modified spines (pedicellariae), which are used for protection and to gather food. Marthasterias glacialis can be dirty brown to pale greyish green in colour with purple tips to the arms.|
|Additional information||Small individuals of Marthasterias glacialis may be confused with Leptasterias mulleri (Northern starfish).|
This review can be cited as follows:
Olwen Ager 2008. Marthasterias glacialis. Spiny starfish. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 22/05/2013]. Available from: <http://www.marlin.ac.uk/speciesinformation.php?speciesID=3770>