Overview

Distribution

lower St. Lawrence estuary; Prince Edward Island (from the northern tip of Miscou Island, N.B. to Cape Breton Island south of Cheticamp, including the Northumberland Strait and Georges Bay to the Canso Strait causeway); Nova Scotia to Cape Hatteras
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Physical Description

Type Information

Syntype for Asterias tenera Stimpson, 1862
Catalog Number: USNM 1256
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Preparation: Dry
Collector(s): W. Stimpson
Locality: Massachusetts Bay, 10 Mile South Of Cape Ann, Massachusetts, United States, North Atlantic Ocean
Depth (m): 37 to 37
  • Syntype: Stimpson. 1862. Proc. Boston Soc. nat. Hist. 8: 269-270.
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© Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology

Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

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Syntype for Asterias tenera Stimpson, 1862
Catalog Number: USNM 1257
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Preparation: Dry
Collector(s): W. Stimpson
Locality: Massachusetts Bay, 10 Mile South Of Cape Ann, Massachusetts, United States, North Atlantic Ocean
Depth (m): 37 to 37
  • Syntype: Stimpson. 1862. Proc. Boston Soc. nat. Hist. 8: 269-270.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology

Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

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Ecology

Habitat

infralittoral and circalittoral of the Gulf and estuary
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Depth range based on 315 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 202 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 11 - 878
  Temperature range (°C): 0.153 - 17.229
  Nitrate (umol/L): 1.778 - 22.089
  Salinity (PPS): 32.029 - 35.574
  Oxygen (ml/l): 3.439 - 7.138
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.390 - 1.564
  Silicate (umol/l): 2.170 - 16.288

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 11 - 878

Temperature range (°C): 0.153 - 17.229

Nitrate (umol/L): 1.778 - 22.089

Salinity (PPS): 32.029 - 35.574

Oxygen (ml/l): 3.439 - 7.138

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.390 - 1.564

Silicate (umol/l): 2.170 - 16.288
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Wikipedia

Leptasterias tenera

Leptasterias tenera is a species of starfish in the family Asteriidae. It is found on the southeastern coast of the United States.

Description[edit]

Leptasterias tenera is a small starfish with five arms [2] and a slow growth rate. It can grow to a diameter of 16 centimetres (6.3 in) but most adults only reach about half that size.[3]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Leptasterias tenera occurs on the southeastern seaboard of the United States from the St Lawrence Estuary and Cape Hatteras southwards to the east coast of Florida. It is also known from the Sargasso Sea.[1] It is found at depths down to about 50 metres (160 ft) on sandy or muddy seabeds.[3]

Biology[edit]

Leptasterias tenera is an ambush predator. It remains stationary on the seabed for long periods, snaring any small crustaceans which come into contact with it, gripping them with its tube feet and pedicellariae and flexing its arms to transfer the prey to its mouth. Large items are pushed as far as they will go into the pyloric stomach but only the portion inside is digested at first.[3]

A study was undertaken of the breeding behaviour of Leptasterias tenera at Block Island near Rhode Island at a site about 30 metres (98 ft) deep where the sea floor was fine muddy sand. The area was dominated by the presence of tube-building amphipods and there were some bivalve molluscs. Leptasterias tenera was the most numerous predatory species but also present were other starfish Asterias forbesi and Asterias rubens and the Jonah crab Cancer borealis. Up to twelve Leptasterias tenera were found per square metre (ten per square yard). Examination of the stomach contents showed that the main items of diet were the numerous amphipods. Breeding took place in the winter.[3] The eggs were large and yolky and few in number.[2] The fertilised eggs were at first retained within the pyloric stomach of the female where the embryos underwent the first stages of their development.[3] Later they emerged and the brachiolaria larvae were brooded underneath the arched disc of the starfish. The breeding season lasted about four months but it was unclear for how long any individual female brooded her young. While brooding, feeding either stopped or was restricted but a few brooding females were found to have prey items in their pyloric stomachs.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Mah, Christopher (2010). "Leptasterias tenera (Stimpson, 1862)". In C. L. Mah. World Asteroidea database. World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  2. ^ a b Worley, E. K.; Franz, D. R.; Hendler, G. "Seasonal pattrns of gametogenesis in a North Atlantic brooding asteroid, Leptasterias tenera". Biological Bulletin 153 (1): 237–253. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Hendler, Gordon; Franz, David R. (1982). "The biology of a brooding seastar, Leptasterias tenera, in Block Island Sound". Biological Bulletin 162 (1): 273–289. 
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