Astropecten irregularis has a flattened body of up to 12 cm in diameter. The five
arms are bordered by two lines of spines, the upper ones shorter than the lower ones, thus its common name.
Its colour is yellowish to pale orange with small brown spots at the intersection of the arms and on the
central disc in a star-shaped drawing. The armtips bear a violet ocella underlining a photosensitive
tube-foot. Astropecten irregularis feeds on molluscs, worms,
heart-urchins and brittle stars found on sandy bottoms where it can hide.
It is found from 2 to 1000 m deep in the Atlantic Ocean from Norway to Morocco, the English Channel, the North Sea and in the Western Mediterranean Sea.
(source : European Register of Marine Species)
Tube foot : Tube-shaped element ending by a sucker-disc used to attach to substratum.
Top photograph :
© Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat. Published with author's kind permission :
Astropecten irregularis, Iles Glénan, South-Brittany, West of France. Depth 17 meters.
Bottom photograph : © Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat. Published with author's kind permission :
Astropecten irregularis, Spiny comb-star. Iles Glénan, South-Brittany, West of France. Depth 15 meters.
Text : Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2005-2017.
Translation : Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2007-2017.