Purple sun star (Solaster endeca)
|Researched by||Sonia Rowley||Refereed by||Admin|
|Other common names||-||Synonyms||-|
Recorded distribution in Britain and IrelandFrequently recorded on the north and west coasts of Britain and Ireland. Further records span from the Shetlands down to Northumberland.
HabitatThis species can be found on muddy gravel or silty rocks in sheltered or moderately exposed conditions, from the infralittoral fringe to 500 m depth.
- Can be up to 40 cm in diameter, commonly 20 cm.
- It has 9-10 long tappering arms (occasionally 7-13).
- Close-set spiny surface.
- Colour variable from bright pink-purple to orangey-red dorsally with pale orange undersides.
Additional informationSolaster endeca breeds during March-April with direct development and, therefore, has no pelagic stage. It is a voracious predator on other Echinoderm species often eating animals nearly as large as itself (Gibson et al., 2001). It is the only British starfish with as many arms as Crossaster papposus (Picton, 1993), however, Solaster endeca has a much smoother appearance.
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Last Updated: 17/01/2007