Patiria miniata (Brandt, 1835)
Common name(s): Bat star, Sea bat, Webbed star, Broad-disk star
|A small Asterina miniata at Cape Flattery, WA|
|(Photo by: Dave Cowles, July 2001)|
How to Distinguish from Similar Species: Mediaster aequalis has large marginal plates. Pteraster tesselatus has an aboral surface lined with soft tissue and secretes copious slime. Dermasterias imbricata has a smooth aboral surface and is reddish-brown with gray or purple.
Geographical Range: Sitka, Alaska to Baja California and Islas de Revillagigedo, Mexico. Abundant in Central California and Monterey Bay. Uncommon north of California and in Mexico. In our area, only a small population exists at Cape Flattery and another one on the west side of Vancouver Island. In Alaska, only in the extreme low intertidal on the outer coast.
Depth Range: Low intertidal to 290 m.
Habitat: Rocky intertidal, especially near surfgrass, algae, sponges, and bryozoans.
Biology/Natural History: An omnivore and scavenger, feeds mainly on surfgrass. Diet also includes echinoids, algae, sponges, bryozoans, and colonial tunicates, plus organic films on rocks. It cannot open clams. Feeds by everting its stomach, which it may even evert to gather particles from the water. Most animals which avoid other seastars have little response to this species, except for the nudibranch Dendronotus iris, which may swim away. Spawn at least from May to July but ripe individuals can be found throughout the year. Individuals may combat one another if they meet, including pushing, placing a ray over the opponent. May have several individuals of the commensal polychaete worm Ophiodromus pugettensis living on the oral surface or in the ambulacral grooves. This species is often used for developmental studies because ripe individuals can be found throughout the year.
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Morris et al., 1980
Byrne, Maria, 2006. Life history diversity and evolution in the Asterinidae. Integrative and Comparative Biology 46:3 pp 243-254
Jennifer, Lisa Raeburn, Heather Stewart, and Michael W. Hart, 2009.
Allelic inheritance in naturally occurring parthenogenetic offspring of
the gonochoric sea star Patiria miniata. Invertebrate Biology
128:3 pp. 276-282