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Scientific name: Marthasterias glacialis
Common name: Spiny starfish
Taxonomy
Phyulm Sub Phylum Class Sub Class Order Sub Order Family Sub Family Genus Species
Echinodermata Asteroza Asteroidea Asteroidea Forcipulatida Asteriadina Asteriadae Not Defined Marthasterias Marthasterias glacialis

       

 Short Description:

This starfish is large and has five very spiny arms. Each arm bears three longitudinal rows of spike-like spines surrounded by large cushions of pedicellariae. Smaller spines may be scattered between these rows. The spines are white and usually purple-tipped and the animal varies in colour from dirty brown to greenish-grey with purple tips to the arms.

Identification
features:
Large spines forming three main rows along each arm.
Spines surrounded by a wreath of pedicellariae.
Spines usually white with purple tips.
Size: Up to 350mm or more in diameter.
Behaviour: Common on rocky shores where it can form large aggregations
Diet: Veracious predator  particulary of mussels
Distribution:

Cape Town to Port Elizabeth 

Depth: 1-20m 
Habitat:

This species may be found in a very wide range of habitats from sheltered muddy sites to fully exposed rockfaces. Specimens from sheltered sites are usually larger than those from exposed sites.

Reference: Two Oceans
(A guide to the marine life of Southern Africa)

GM Branch;CL Griffiths;ML Branch;LE Beckley
Similar Species:
  • None

 

Database Statistics
(Click on the links for more information)
Photographer Date City Area Dive site Temp Size Depth Camera Photo Video
Erick Kritzinger-(Port Elizabeth) 2011-11-20 Tsitsikama Nature Reserve Storms RIver Mouth (TNR)-Scuba Trail 18 300mm 3m Fujifilm FinePix F80EXR photo
Erick Kritzinger-(Port Elizabeth) 2011-11-20 Tsitsikama Nature Reserve Storms RIver Mouth (TNR)-Scuba Trail 18 250mm 5m Fujifilm FinePix F80EXR photo
Erick Kritzinger-(Port Elizabeth) 2011-11-20 Tsitsikama Nature Reserve Storms RIver Mouth (TNR)-Scuba Trail 18 320mm 4m Fujifilm FinePix F80EXR photo
Gerald Smith-(Port Elizabeth) 2009-11-07 Port Elizabeth Wildside (PE-WS)-Scotsmans Reef/Moonie 11 200mm 17m Canon Powershot A710 photo
Gerhard Ferreira-(Port Elizabeth) 2009-06-07 Port Elizabeth Wildside (PE-WS)-Mark 4 Swimthru 13 180mm 18m Canon Powershot A60 photo
Gerrit Smith-(Port Elizabeth) 2009-12-23 Port Elizabeth Algoa Bay (PE-AB)-Bellbuoy reef 16 200mm 16m Canon Powershot A70 photo
Glenn Jacoby-(Port Elizabeth) 2009-03-21 Port Elizabeth Algoa Bay (PE-AB)-The Paris Maru Wreck (1934) 16 190mm 16m Fujifilm Finepix F50fd photo
Glenn Jacoby-(Port Elizabeth) 2008-11-28 Port Elizabeth Wildside (PE-WS)-Fort Raggie 17 80mm 14m Fujifilm Finepix F50fd photo
Glenn Jacoby-(Port Elizabeth) 2010-01-24 Port Elizabeth Algoa Bay (PE-AB)-Kraal 16 150mm 12m Fujifilm Finepix F50fd photo
Hildegard Viljoen-(Port Elizabeth) 2008-12-07 Port Elizabeth Wildside (PE-WS)-Vital Link 15 200mm 18m Sony DSC-W150 photo
Johan Swanepoel-(Port Elizabeth) 2009-05-10 Port Elizabeth Algoa Bay (PE-AB)-The Paris Maru Wreck (1934) 13 190mm 14m Olympus SP560UZ photo
Johan Swanepoel-(Port Elizabeth) 2009-05-10 Port Elizabeth Algoa Bay (PE-AB)-The Paris Maru Wreck (1934) 13 190mm 14m Olympus SP560UZ photo
Johan Swanepoel-(Port Elizabeth) 2011-02-27 Port Elizabeth Algoa Bay (PE-AB)-Evans Peak 11 200mm 30m Canon Powershot G10 photo
Juan Snyman-(Port Elizabeth) 2008-06-22 Port Elizabeth Wildside (PE-WS)-Fort Raggie 17 200mm 22m Olympus SP550UZ photo
Juan Snyman-(Port Elizabeth) 2009-06-11 Port Elizabeth Algoa Bay (PE-AB)-Slipway 18 200mm 5m Fujifilm Finepix F50fd photo
 
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eastern cape scuba diving