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Featured Shellfish - Spiny star, Hippasteria spinosa

 Featured Shellfish November 2011

Like asteria, but hipp

This species is one of many from the class Asteroidea... The "hipp" part refers to "horse-like" ... the "spinosa" species name refers to its multispinous marginal plates. Put it all together and you have a "spiny horse asteria". Asteria ("The starry one") is a goddess of astrology from Greek mythology.

Spiny star dorsal
Spiny star

"Spinosa"

The species name is a reference the the multiple spines found on their marginal plates- seen in this photo.

 

 

pedicellariae of spiny star
Multiple Spines

Where would you find one?

The spiny star is a very deep living sea star living mainly in sandy areas on the continental shelf, preying on sea pens.

This particular animal was caught in the pink shrimp fishery at 100 fathoms (600 feet) of depth.

A number of other echinoderm species such as sea cucumbers, sea biscuits, sea stars, and urchins are found at these same habitats.

shrimp hopper with echinoderms
Shrimp Hopper with Echinoderms

Not the only echinoderm on the shelf

Fragile urchins (photo right) are found in the deeper continental shelf waters (40-200 fathoms) and are related to the more familiar purple and red urchins found in Oregon’s nearshore.

fragile urchin
Fragile Urchin
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