Luidia clathrata (lined starfish) (Cayo Costa Island, Florida, USA) 1
Luidia clathrata Say, 1825 - lined starfish (aboral view) in Florida, USA (January 2016).
Starfish are vagrant, benthic, mostly predatory echinoderms. They have a multielement skeleton composed of numerous, small, calcitic plates. Most starfish are pentaradial (they have 5 arms), but some species have 6 or more arms. Many starfish are predators, although some can deposit feed. Predatory starfish include forms that consume prey, usually bivalves, by everting their stomachs through their mouths (= centrally located on the underside) and digest food externally.
The lined starfish shown above, Luidia clathrata, is a predator on various invertebrates and is also a deposit feeder. It does engage in stomach eversion behavior.
Notice that this individual has had 3 of its arms injured (probably partially removed by predators or broken by rough waves). The arms have started regenerating. The two longer arms also appear to have been partially detached and have since almost completely regenerated.
Classification: Animalia, Echinodermata, Asteroidea, Paxillosida, Luidiidae
Locality: marine beach at the southern tip of Cayo Costa Island, Gulf of Mexico coast of southwestern Florida, USA (vicinity of 26° 36' 48.74" North latitude, 82° 13' 19.91" West longitude)
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