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Asterias rubens

Asterias rubens

Common starfish

   Asterias rubens is a starfish that may reach a diameter up to 50 cm but its average size is about 15 cm. The common starfish has five cylindrical tapering arms ending with a photosensitive ocella. Its colour is variable: yellowish-brown, orange or violet. The lower face with the mouth is yellowish. Its upper surface is irregular, covered with spines surrounded by groups of pedicellariae. Asterias rubens lives on rocks or boulders feeding on mussels or oysters.
It is present from surface to 200 m deep, in the Atlantic Ocean down to Cape Verde Islands, in the English Channel, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea.


 (source : European Register of Marine Species)

  • Echinodermata [Phylum]
  • Asterozoa [Subphylum]
  • Stelleroidea [Class]
  • Asteroidea [Subclass]
  • Forcipulatida [Order]
  • Asteriidae [Family]
  • Asterias rubens Linnaeus, 1758

Page glossary

Pedicellariae : Minute jawed elements of sea urchins and starfish used to clean body surface and as defensive means.


Top photograph :
© Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat. Published with author's kind permission : 
Asterias rubens, Iles Glénan, South-Brittany, West of France. Depth 6 meters.
Text :  Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2005-2020.
Translation :  Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2007-2020.

How to cite this page in publications

Bay-Nouailhat A., November 2005, Description of Asterias rubens, Available on line at http://www.european-marine-life.org/30/asterias-rubens.php, consulted on 10 July 2020.
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