Cushion star

Oreaster reticulatus

ORDER

Valvatida

FAMILY

Oreasteridae

TAXONOMY

Asterias reticulata (Linnaeus, 1758).

OTHER COMMON NAMES English: West Indian sea star.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

A robust animal that can reach 20 in (50 cm) in radius. A massive inflated central disc that supports five short, slightly tapering arms. Highly variable in color from juveniles, which are mottled green, brown, tan, and gray, to adults, which are yellow, brown, or orange. All have a beige or cream lower surface. Upper surface has thick, heavy plates forming a reticulate pattern. The plates carry numerous prominent tubercles with bluntly rounded tips.

Hendler, G., J. E. Miller, D. L. Pawson, and P. M. Kier. Sea Stars, Sea Urchins, and Allies: Echinoderms of Florida and the Caribbean. Washington, DC, and London: The Smithsonian Institution Press, 1995.

Jangoux, M. "Digestive Systems: Asteroidea." In Echinoderm Nutrition, edited by Michael Jangoux and John Lawrence. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: A. A. Balkema, 1982.

-. "Food and Feeding Mechanism: Asteroidea." In

Echinoderm Nutrition, edited by Michael Jangoux and John Lawrence. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: A. A. Balkema, 1982.

Janies, D., and R. Mooi. "Xyloplax Is an Asteroid." In Echinoderm Research. Proceedings of the 5th European Conference on Echinoderms, edited by Maria D.C. Carnevali and Francesco Bonasoro. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: A. A. Balkema, 1999.

Kozloff, E. N. Seashore Life of the Northern Pacific Coast. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1993.

Lerman, M. Marine Biology: Environment, Diversity, and Ecology. Redwood City, CA: Cummings Publishing Company, 1986.

Menge, B. "Effects of Feeding on the Environment: Asteoidea." In Echinoderm Nutrition, edited by Michael Jangoux and John Lawrence. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: A. A. Balkema, 1982.

O'Clair, R. M., and E. O. O'Clair. Southeast Alaska's Rocky Shores, Animals. Auke Bay, AK: Plant Press, 1998.

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