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Porania (Porania) pulvillus (O.F. Müller, 1776)

Red cushion starfish

Porania (Porania) pulvillus

Lysefjord, Norway, 15 meters, MV

Description

Porania (Porania) pulvillus is a starfish of a diameter of 12 cm. The central disc is broad and domed, the five short arms are stout and tappering. The dorsal side is red, orange or yellow with irregular white lines. It is covered in tiny papulae, white to yellow or even translucent, in the middle of which one can see the madreporite. Its surface is smooth and somewhat greasy to the touch. The ventral side is paler. Two rows of tube feet with sucking disc radiate from the mouth toward the tip of each arms. Plates on the edge of the red cushion star bear 3 to 5 spines forming a sort of fringe around the starfish. It is mainly detrivorous but it seems that it may also feed on the cnidarian Alcyonium digitatum on which it may be sometimes observed.

Distribution

Porania (Porania) pulvillus is found on rocks, kelp holdfasts in sheltered or moderatly exposed areas generally from 10 to 300 m deep, but sometimes as deep as 1000 meters, in the Atlantic Ocean from South Ireland up to Norway, in the english Channel and the North Sea.

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

Données de distribution : Porania (Porania) pulvillus (O.F. Müller, 1776) 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)
Poraniidae (Family)
Porania (Genus)
Porania (Porania) (Subgenus)
Porania (Porania) pulvillus (Species)

Page glossary

Madreporite : perforated plate on the upper surface of the starfish through which water comes in the water vascular system, that enables the tube feet to move.

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

Tube foot : tube-shaped element ending by a sucker-disc used to attach to subtratum or to bring food particles into the mouth.

Authors

Text : Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2008 - 2020.

Photos : © Mat Vestjens. 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 : Porania (Porania) pulvillus (O.F. Müller, 1776) 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 Porania (Porania) pulvillus, [On line] http://european-marine-life.org/30/porania-(porania)-pulvillus.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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