I was hinted to Astropecten spp, but I wonder if someone can say exactly the full species name!
It was exciting to grab the creature for a while - much more from touching nettles After photo modelling, the creature was placed back.
Size 10-15cm, found on rough sand very close to the coast of Ghadira.
- StarfishMellieha2.JPG (135.38 KiB) Viewed 15415 times
- StarfishMellieha3.JPG (460.02 KiB) Viewed 15415 times
- Starfish from Mellieha (Ghadira Bay)
- StarfishMellieha.JPG (444.79 KiB) Viewed 15415 times
It is a common seastar of sandy bottoms. In Malta, six species of Astropecten are present, one very large (up to 50cm) and the other ranging in size from 7cm-12cm across. Telling them apart is not always easy as it involves detailed examination of the arrangement of the spines, especially those in the ambulacral grooves (where the tube feet are).
None of them are dangerous.
Information brought to you by the courtesy of Prof. Patrick J. Schembri