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Comprehensive Description

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This star has a broad central disk and 5 short rays which taper broadly to the central disk. The rays are not bordered by marginal plates. The entire aboral surface is smooth and slippery, reddish brown with blue-gray patches or reticulations, and without spines. The thickness is about 1/3 the diameter, the madreporite can be seen. Smells distinctive--almost like garlic or burned gunpowder. Arm radius to 15 cm.
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Look Alikes

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How to Distinguish from Similar Species: Pteraster tesselatus does not have a visible madreporite and secretes copious quantities of slime. Asterina miniata and Mediaster aequalis have clearly visible interlocking ossicles on the aboral surface.
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Comprehensive Description

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Biology/Natural History: Prey include diatoms, sponges, bryozoans, sea pens, anemones, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, and chitons, ascidians, and fish eggs. Anemones are said to be one of its major prey items. It usually swallows its prey whole and digests them internally. The swimming anemone Stomphia sp has a strong escape response from this species; as does the purple urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. Stomphia swims away, while S. purpuratus pulls in its tube feet, depresses its spines, and extends its pedicellariae; then races away. The scaleworm Arctonoe vittata is a common commensal, and the worm and the seastar are mutually attracted to one another. A parasitic barnacle Dendrogaster sp may be found inside. In Wasington, spawning is from April to August. Females release yellow eggs which are fertilized in the water.
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Habitat

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Mostly on rocks, can also be found on sand or mud. Seems to prefer at least partially sheltered areas.
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Distribution

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Geographical Range: Sitka, Alaska to Sacramento Reef, Baja California, Mexico; more common in the northern half of its range
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Invertebrates of the Salish Sea

Habitat

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Depth Range: Intertidal to 90 m
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Leather star

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The leather star (Dermasterias imbricata) is a sea star in the family Asteropseidae found at depths to 100 m (328 ft) off the western seaboard of North America. It was first described to science by Adolph Eduard Grube in 1857.[1]

Description

The leather star has a broad central disc and five plump, short arms which taper broadly from the central disc. The arms have two rows of tube feet and no bordering marginal plates. The upper, aboral, surface is smooth and velvety, made more so by the absence of spines and a light layer of mucous.[2] It is covered with a reticulated pattern in reddish-brown, often with patches of greyish-blue. No pedicellariae are present, but the madreporite can be seen. This starfish can grow to about 30 centimetres (12 in) in diameter[3] and has a distinctive smell that resembles garlic and sulphur.[4][5]

Distribution and habitat

The range of the leather star includes the western seaboard of North America from Cook Inlet, Alaska[2] to northern Mexico. It occurs in Puget Sound.[6] It lives in the intertidal zone and in deeper water down to depths of about 100 metres (330 ft).[4] It is found on rocky bottoms and occasionally sandy seabeds.[7]

Biology

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D. imbricata, offshore Carmel, California

The leather star feeds on algae and a range of invertebrates, including other asteroids, bryozoans, sea urchins, sponges, sea cucumbers, hydroids, sea pens, and colonial tunicates.[4]

It is in turn preyed on by the morning sun star (Solaster dawsoni). In its attempts to evade this voracious predator, it crawls away at a maximum speed of 15 cm/min, but this is too slow, and leather stars make up 50% of the diet of morning sun stars.[8]

Off the Washington coast, spawning is from April to August. The females release yellow eggs which are fertilized in the water column. The larvae then become part of the zooplankton.[5]

The leather star sometimes lives symbiotically with the scaleworm Arctonoe vittata. The worm also associates with various other marine invertebrates, but if separated from its host, will search out another member of the same species. The worm may nip off the heads of small tube-dwelling polychaetes as the starfish moves around, but is not harmed by its host.[9]

The parasitic barnacle genus Dendrogaster is sometimes an endoparasite of the leather star.[5]

References

  1. ^ Grube, Eduard (1857). "Beschreibungen neuer oder weniger bekannter Seesterne und Seeigel". Proceedings of the Academy (in German). 27: 6–9.
  2. ^ a b Center, Alaska Fisheries Science. "AFSC/RACE - Leather Sea Star, Dermasterias imbricata". www.afsc.noaa.gov. Retrieved 2020-01-02.
  3. ^ "Leather star • Dermasterias imbricata". Biodiversity of the Central Coast. Retrieved 2020-01-02.
  4. ^ a b c Marine Biodiversity of British Columbia Archived 2013-04-15 at archive.today
  5. ^ a b c Zipcode Zoo Archived 2012-09-02 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Dermasterias imbricata | Encyclopedia of Puget Sound". www.eopugetsound.org. Retrieved 2020-01-02.
  7. ^ "Dermasterias imbricata". inverts.wallawalla.edu. Retrieved 2020-01-02.
  8. ^ "Leather star: Dermasterias imbricata". Sea stars of the Pacific Northwest. 2011. Archived from the original on 2012-09-09. Retrieved 2012-09-22.
  9. ^ Arctonoe vittata Archived 2012-07-30 at the Wayback Machine
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Leather star: Brief Summary

provided by wikipedia EN

The leather star (Dermasterias imbricata) is a sea star in the family Asteropseidae found at depths to 100 m (328 ft) off the western seaboard of North America. It was first described to science by Adolph Eduard Grube in 1857.

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