ChrisMcA's picture


Observed: 12th January 2009 By: ChrisMcAChrisMcA is knowledgeable about InvertebratesChrisMcA’s earned reputation in InvertebratesChrisMcA’s earned reputation in InvertebratesChrisMcA’s earned reputation in InvertebratesChrisMcA’s earned reputation in Invertebrates

Particularly red case. Is that due to the cold Jan1 weather? (if so it's not due to red blood as starfish don't have blood)

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Common starfish (Asterias rubens) interacts


dejayM's picture


Amazing colour - might you really suspect this is environmentally induced Chris?
Were there lots then and there? Do you remember?

ChrisMcA's picture

just one as I recall

just one as I recall

JoC's picture

Colour morphs in Asterias rubens.

The following extract suggests diet as a factor; it may not be the only one.

I have not read the original, and it does not seem to be available on-line, but it seems that, and here I quote from a Masters thesis on a different starfish, which is available on- line "Vevers (1966) reviewed pigmentation in echinoderms and confirmed that they are among the most brightly coloured of all marine animals and that nearly all their coloration is due to pigments. In Asteroids, the most widespread chemical pigments are the carotenoids. Carotenoids are yellow to red pigments ............Because carotenoids are essentially plant pigments which animals are thought to be incapable of synthesizing de novo seems likely that the coloration of P. ochraceus is at least partially controlled by diet........ How environmental factors play a role in the survivability of different color morphs is not known."

Vevers, H. G., 1966. Chapter 11 Pigmentation. Physiology of Echinodermata. R. A. Boolootian. New York, Interscience Publishers: 267-275.
it's not called A. rubens for nothing!


ChrisMcA's picture

Thanks for the info JoC;it

Thanks for the info JoC;it could well be diet, & not 'some kind of antifreeze'.