Pisaster ochraceous develops through several larval stages, one including the brachiolaria larva. Using ciliated arms to sweep food into its mouth, it glides through the water column. The cilia drive locomotion of the larva is supplemented by these same arms. The larva attaches itself to the substratum as it settles because each arm has a glandular tip. The five-armed adult is formed because it undergoes metamorphosis. Adults continue growing and the rate of growth is dependent on its food supply.
Development - Life Cycle: metamorphosis
- Ricketts, E., J. Calvin, J. Hedgpeth. 1985. Between Pacific Tides. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.
- Nicol, J. 1960. The Biology of Marine Animals. New York: Interscience Publishers, INC.