View Full Version : How do starfish breed?

17-09-06, 12:23
just found what looks like a baby sandshifting starfish in my tank:eek:

ive had a adult s/shifter for about a year or so and i just found a baby one with 3 legs, hes just less than a centremetre big. ive not had any extra corals or anything for ages that he could of come in on so how did it appear????


17-09-06, 12:54
he is an asterina star. a rock hitch hiker and will multiply in abundance. there are several different species and it is nigh on impossible to tell them apart. most are fine and are just scaveners but a couple of species have been known to eat corals. nearly everyone has the safe variety, those that whip them out i challenge to show evidence of coral destruction.

as for reproducing, the asterina species merely grow to their adult size and then shed a leg or two. these legs will then morph into proper stars and multiply again given time. its not too uncommon to have asterinas wandering around with upwards of ten legs where they still haven't shed.

some see as a nuisance in need of removal, some see as just more life to look at, decide what you will, i personally love em :)

18-09-06, 12:53
Thats very interesting. Couple of months ago i saw on the front of the glass what looked like a tiny starfish-although it didnt seem to have fully formed legs!, it disappeared and the day before yesterday it re-appeared, a little larger still with imperfect legs. Thing is i have never had a starfish in my tank. Tried to get a pic of it, but just when i was trying to do this bi-coloured angel came and pecked it, it feel on to substrate and i could no longer see it!!!

18-09-06, 13:01
it will re-appear shamus, and multiply. they camoulflage up very well abd are hard to spot on rock and sand. at night a lot of mine like to make their way onto the glass. easiest way to spot them.

18-09-06, 14:39
Thanks Scoob, but what sort of size to they grow to, given time of course. I have seen the normal ones in lfs, do they get that sort of size?

18-09-06, 14:54
bloody things

18-09-06, 16:38
asterina covers a broad span of stars, some big and colourful, most not. you would have to be very lucky to get one of the 'wilder' larger stars. generally these don't and wont survive the transport from the tropics or are removed at source i guess. the smaller variety, which most have in their tanks remain small, just multiply in numbers. the length of the legs is what decides the size and as these stars split as 'legs' the size is determined merely on number. like i say i've seen one with 10 legs, this was the biggest i've seen but still covered no greater an area.

18-09-06, 18:23
Thanks again for the all the information!

23-09-06, 20:45
Is it the same for all starfish? I recently bought a gorgeous red serpent star from my LFS, and he's lost 1/2 a leg :confused: Or do they shed a complete leg (up to the disk?)

Just curious :rolleyes:

23-09-06, 21:43
not all starfish are the same. well they are but some are a lot less tollerant and can't be split like fragging.

your serpent will hopefully given favourable conditions grow his leg back to its former glory but this wont have become a new star, nor will they multiply in an aquarium.

asterinas afaik are the only brazen hussys to perform this so regularly for us.

26-09-06, 21:09
Ahh ok, Thanks for that Scoob :D

Any idea why they just lose a leg?

27-09-06, 00:10
imo he wont have shed it voluntarily. either a rock fell and cut it off or he was attacked by a predator or had an altercation with a piece of equipment, impellor or whatever.

27-09-06, 11:29
:eek: Ouch! poor guy, it does look as if it's on the mend and he's feeding well so hopefully he'll be ok.