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Perknaster fuscus Sladen, 1889

provided by British Antarctic Survey

Description

Colour variable depending on circumstances and diet; generally yellow to red, and blotchy. It reaches up to around 30cm across.

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Species details

Chemical ecology of Perknaster fuscus (wrt sponges) 1992, Adaptations within Antarctic Ecosystems, Benthic Community at McMurdo Sound 1974, Mcmurdo sound website

Photos

  • Perknaster fuscus - Perknaster fuscus - Philippe Pernet
  • Perknaster fuscus - Perknaster fuscus - Philippe Pernet
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Species distribution

0 to 457m, generally on mud or amongst sponges, from Sub-Antarctica to the Antarctic Peninsula and Continent

Perknaster fuscus mainly eats sponges and specialises in particular on the slimy sponge, Mycale acerata, which is relatively fast growing and which, without predation, would potentially dominate sponge communities. Mycale acerata is one of the most toxic of Antarctic sponges and consequently avoided by most other sponge eaters. Perknaster fuscus also has chemicals in its body wall to defend it against predators, but is eaten by the anemone Urticinopsis antarcticus. It probably spawns once a year.

Occurrences map

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