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Acodontaster conspicuus (Koehler, 1920)

Description

5 arms. Colour varies but is generally pale orange to brownish, and fairly large (up to 30cm across)

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Species details

Photos

  • Acodontaster conspicuus - Acodontaster conspicuus - Philippe Pernet
  • Acodontaster conspicuus - Acodontaster conspicuus - Philippe Pernet
  • Acodontaster conspicuus - Acodontaster conspicuous - David Barnes
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Species distribution

0 to 761m (mostly below 30m) from Sub-Antarctica and South Georgia to the Antarctic Peninsula and Continent.

Feeds on various sponges including glass sponges and the slimy sponge Mycale acerata; a relatively fast growing sponge which could dominate sponge communities if not regulated by predation from Acodontaster conspicuous and from another seastar, Perknaster fuscus. Acodontaster conspicuous is itself known to be preyed upon by the worm Parbolasia corrugatus, the anemone Urticinopsis antarcticus and the much smaller seastar Odontaster validus, which will attack as a gang, after the initial solo assault. Predation by O. validus probably keeps Acodontaster populations under control.

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