Blue Spiny Starfish – Coscinasterias tenuispina
The Blue Spiny Starfish, also known as the White Starfish, is a species in the class of the Starfish and thus belongs to the phylum of the Echinodermata.
Coscinasterias tenuispina has a white colouration with orange to brown pustules, blue-white thorns arranged in five rows, and white feet. The number of arms varies between 6 and 12. It grows to a maximum diameter of 50cm.
Habitat and Distribution
The Blue Spiny Starfish lives on rocky ground, under stones and in sea grass meadows to depths of 50m. When diving in the Canaries you can see it quiet often. In addition, its distribution area in the eastern Atlantic extends from the Azores via Madeira, Spain, Portugal, to the Mediterranean Sea. In the western Atlantic you can find it from North Carolina, via Bermuda and the Caribbean all the way to Brazil.
Coscinasterias tenuispina feeds on snails, sponges, echinoderms, crustaceans and mussels.
It can reproduce asexually. The body divides into two halves, each with new arms growing. Even if a big piece of arm is separated, a new starfish can form of it. Sexual reproduction takes place in winter.