PORT PHILLIP BAY


Northern Pacific Seastar 

Asterias amurensis Lütken, 1871

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

See below for information.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Echinodermata
Class:
Asteroidea
Order:
Forcipulatida
Family:
Asteriidae
Genus:
Asterias
Species:
amurensis

General Description

Arms 5, long and strongly tapered to narrow point at the tip. Tip of arm typically upturned. Disc and arm surface spines are small and fine. Pale brown to yellow to orange, sometimes with purple, typically at the tips of the arms. Centre to arm tip up to 23 cm.

Biology

This species is an introduced marine pest in Port Phillip Bay and the Derwent Estuary in Tasmania. It was reported in Tasmania in 1986 and first identified in Port Phillip Bay from a specimen collected by scallop fishermen near Point Cook in 1995. It is a voracious predator and scavenger, has a prolific reproduction capacity, and now numbers in the millions in Port Phillip Bay. This pest is sometimes confused with native species but is distinguished by the arm tips and spines on the body.

Habitat

On reef, sand or other sediment, and seagrass, to depths over 30 m.

Reefs

Soft substrates

Seagrass meadows

Distribution guide

Japan and Port Phillip Bay.

Species Group

Seastars and allies Sea stars

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

46 cm

Diet

Carnivore

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Introduced to Australia

Identify

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author O'Loughlin, P. M.

Mark O'Loughlin is an Honorary Associate in marine invertebrates at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
O'Loughlin, P. M., 2011, Northern Pacific Seastar, Asterias amurensis, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 24 May 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/7768

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