andrewcowley's picture

Asterias rubens or Leptasterias muelleri?

Observed: 9th April 2003 By: andrewcowleyandrewcowley’s reputation in Invertebratesandrewcowley’s reputation in Invertebrates

Two different examples of a starfish which seems like Asterias rubens or Leptasterias muelleri. The regular pattern of white plates/spines is not like rubens but it is not as spiny, particularly in the second example, as muelleri.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Common starfish (Asterias rubens) interacts


BDeed's picture

I would go for A. rubens as

I would go for A. rubens as other examples i have seen of it do have a similar pattern of white 'spines' (, this site also notes that the spines are more densely packed...

I await to be corrected! especially as i have a small example of a starfish whose ID i may need to re-visit if yours comes out as Leptasterias muelleri!

Mike Kendall's picture

Difficult from a photograph

I can't separate the species. The Marlin reference above repeats the same criteria as other basic books. It does mention the existance of single papulae (which diagrams suggest are papillae) between the spines. Its too late to look for that.

Its probably best to get hold of

Southward, E.C. & Campbell, A.C., (2006). Echinoderms. The Linnean Society of London. Avon: The Bath Press. [Synopses of the British Fauna No. 56.]

This book gives a complete species description

Mike Kendall