Asterias rubens is the most common and familiar starfish in the north-east Atlantic region. Asterias rubens may grow up to 52 cm in diameter, but commonly 10-30 cm. Asterias rubens is variable in colour, though usually orange, pale brown or violet. Deep-water specimens are pale. It has five tapering arms, broad at the base that are often slightly turned up at the tip when active.
- Asterias rubens is considered to be conspecific with Asterias vulgaris from the eastern seaboard of the United States of America and Canada (Coe, 1912).
- The size of Asterias rubens varies markedly with food availability and hence size is not necessarily a good indicator of age.
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