BIOTIC Species Information for Asterina gibbosa
Researched byMorvan Barnes Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byThis information is not refereed
Scientific nameAsterina gibbosa Common nameA cushion star
MCS CodeZB59 Recent Synonyms

PhylumEchinodermata SubphylumAsterozoa
Superclass ClassAsteroidea
Subclass OrderValvatida
Suborder FamilyAsterinidae
GenusAsterina Speciesgibbosa

Additional Information
Taxonomy References Howson & Picton, 1997, Hayward et al., 1996, Barnes, 1980, Fish & Fish, 1996, Emson & Crump, 1979, Baus et al., 2005, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b,
General Biology
Growth formStellate
Feeding methodOmnivore
Environmental positionEpilithic
Typical food typesBenthic invertebrates including crustaceans, molluscs and other echinodermata. HabitFree living
BioturbatorNot researched FlexibilityLow (10-45 degrees)
FragilityIntermediate SizeSmall-medium(3-10cm)
HeightNot researched Growth RateInsufficient information
Adult dispersal potentialInsufficient information DependencyIndependent
General Biology Additional Information
Biology References Picton, 1993, Mortensen, 1927, Murphy & Jones, 1987, Crump & Emson, 1983, Emson & Crump, 1984, Southward & Campbell, 2006, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b,
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandCommon on many British and Irish coasts but sparse in the north-east and not recorded from Lincolnshire around to Hampshire.
Global distributionFound in western Europe from Norway and the Shetland Isles south to the Azores and the Mediterranean.
Biogeographic rangeTemperate to warm temperate. Depth rangeLower shore to 30 m.
MigratoryNon-migratory / Resident   
Distribution Additional Information

Substratum preferencesRockpools
Under boulders
Coarse clean sand
Biogenic reef
Crevices / fissures
Artificial (e.g. metal/wood/concrete)
Gravel / shingle
Large to very large boulders
Physiographic preferencesEstuary
Strait / sound
Enclosed coast / Embayment
Offshore seabed
Open coast
Biological zoneLower Infralittoral
Upper Infralittoral
Sublittoral Fringe
Lower Eulittoral
Lower Circalittoral
Upper Circalittoral
Wave exposureModerately Exposed
Tidal stream strength/Water flowInsufficient information
SalinityFull (30-40 psu)
Habitat Preferences Additional Information
Distribution References Picton, 1993, Mortensen, 1927, Hayward et al., 1996, Fish & Fish, 1996, Baus et al., 2005, Clark & Downey, 1992, JNCC, 1999, Picton & Costello, 1998, Southward & Campbell, 2006, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, NBN, 2002,
Reproduction/Life History
Reproductive typeSelf-fertilization
Protandrous hermaphrodite
Developmental mechanismLecithotrophic
Reproductive Seasonlate May to early June Reproductive LocationAs adult
Reproductive frequencyAnnual protracted Regeneration potential Yes
Life span6-10 years Age at reproductive maturity1-2 years
Generation timeNot researched Fecundity100 to 1,000
Egg/propagule sizeca. 0.5 mm Fertilization typeExternal
Larval/Juvenile dispersal potentialInsufficient information Larval settlement periodNot researched
Duration of larval stageSee additional information   
Reproduction Preferences Additional InformationEggs take about 20 days to hatch increasing the potential for dispersal.
Reproduction References Mortensen, 1927, Cognetti & Delavault, 1962, Crump & Emson, 1983, Southward & Campbell, 2006,
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