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Taxonomische classification
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Linnaeus, 1758

The larva is planktonic. There are two larval forms, the bipinnaria and the brachiolaria.
The bipinnaria larva is depicted on the right. The longer projecting arms have ciliary bands. Length about 1.5 mm.
The brachiolaria larva develops the three typical, star-shaped brachiolaria [Asteriodea-brachiolaria ] arms with adhesive pads, that serve later to attach to the substratum, length ca. 2.5 mm; the brachiolaria larva also develops the so called rudiment, the juvenile Asterias rubens, that later will be the benthic starfish.
The larger brachiolaria larva bears a fully formed juvenile (the rudiment); the brachiolar arms are fully developed, the other arms are about to be resorbed; the larva is ready to settle and to undergo metamorphosis, at which monent the juvenile breaks from the larval body, that is resorbed.
Adults live on a wide variety of mostly hard substrates. From mid-littoral and infra-littoral to sublittoral to about 650 m.

Depth range
Unknown for the larva, probably sam range as adult (0-650 m).

Distribution in the North Sea
All North Sea.

Asterias rubens