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Ophidiaster ophidianus (Lamarck, 1816)

Purple starfish

Ophidiaster ophidianus

Corsica, France, 15 meters, 2007, WD

Description

Ophidiaster ophidianus is a starfish of a diameter of 20 cm but sometimes up to 40 cm. the central disc is small. It has five long arms, round in cross-section and of the same size nearly on its whole length slightly tappering at their end. The arms tighten at the junction with the central disc. On the arms, short respiratory papillae arranged in lines run from the central disc to the arm ends. The purple starfish has variable colour : purple, orange or red sometimes with darker purple patches.

Distribution

Ophidiaster ophidianus is found on rocks from 5 to 25 m deep in the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean from the Azores to the Canary Islands, Madeira and Guinea Gulf.

Image satellite: © Esri, DigitalGlobe, GeoEye, Earthstar Geographics, CNES/Airbus DS, USDA, USGS, AeroGRID, IGN, and the GIS User Community.

Données de distribution : Ophidiaster ophidianus (Lamarck, 1816) in GBIF Secretariat (2019). GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist dataset https://doi.org/10.15468/39omei accessed via GBIF.org on 2020-10-27.

Classification

Source : World Register of Marine Species


Biota (Superdomain)
Animalia (Kingdom)
Echinodermata (Phylum)
Asterozoa (Subphylum)
Asteroidea (Class)
Valvatacea (Superorder)
Valvatida (Order)
Ophidiasteridae (Family)
Ophidiaster (Genus)
Ophidiaster ophidianus (Species)

Page glossary

Papillae : kind of tiny bags more or developped on the surface of the starfish and used in breathing.

Authors

Text : Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2008 - 2020.

Photos : © William Desmartin. Published with his kind permission.
Websites and reference works : Consult bibliography

Image satellite: © Esri, DigitalGlobe, GeoEye, Earthstar Geographics, CNES/Airbus DS, USDA, USGS, AeroGRID, IGN, and the GIS User Community.

Données de distribution : Ophidiaster ophidianus (Lamarck, 1816) in GBIF Secretariat (2019). GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist dataset https://doi.org/10.15468/39omei accessed via GBIF.org on 2020-10-27.

How to cite this page

Bay-Nouailhat A., August 2008, Description of Ophidiaster ophidianus, [On line] http://european-marine-life.org/30/ophidiaster-ophidianus.php, consulted on 2020 October 27.

Author

Photographie de Anne Bay-Nouailhat

Anne Bay-Nouailhat

Project manager in marine environment
Professional diver - Naturalist

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