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Giant basket star

Astrophyton muricatum

(Lamarck, 1816)

Giant basket star

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Summary

Saltwater. Basket Stars. During the day, it curls up into a tight ball shape to protect itself from predators. At night, it climbs to an elevated point to feed by extending its intricately branched feeding arms in a bowl-like shape in order to snare passing plankton and other organisms from the current.

To be confused with

- Black and White Crinoid Nemaster grandis

Characteristics

Size: 100 cm, when its arms are fully extended.
Colour: Generally brown or black.
Shape: It has a central disc and eight slender, flexible arms that repeatedly divide to form a fine-meshed net-like structure. 

Habitat environment and ecology

Inhabits coral reefs. The giant basket star is a very large echinoderm that can reach a diameter of nearly a metre when its arms are fully extended. It has a central disc and eight slender, flexible arms that repeatedly divide to form a fine-meshed net-like structure. The colour is generally brown or black.

Distribution range

St. Eustatius. BES-eilanden.

Author

[Marion Haarsma, march 2015]

Literature

- Humann, P., & DeLoach, N. (2002). Reef Creature Identification: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas (p. 420). Jacksonville (FL): New World Publications.


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