Red Comb Star – Astropecten aranciacus
The Red Comb Star is a species in the class of the Starfish and therefore belongs to the phylum of the Echinodermata.
Astropecten aranciacus has bright orange colouration with red pigmentation. There are many thorns on the sides of his five arms. It reaches a maximum size of 55cm in diameter.
Habitat and Distribution
The Red Comb Star lives on and in sandy and muddy soils and in sea grass meadows down to depths of 180m. When diving in the Canaries you can only rarely observe it. In addition, its distribution area extends in the eastern Atlantic from Portugal to Angola and it is found in the Mediterranean Sea as well.
Astropecten aranciacus feeds on mussels, echinoderms and snails. They swallow their prey as a whole. Indigestible remains, such as sea urchin shells and mussel shells are spat out through the mouth opening.
It is night active and usually hiding in the sand during the day.
The Red Comb Star is reproduces exclusively sexually.