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Mediaster aequalis

Domain Eukarya
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Echinodermata
Class Asteroidea
Genus Mediaster
Species aequalis
COMMON NAME: Vermillion Sea Star or Equal Arm Star
video Vermillion star video video Vermillion Star releases sperm
mediaster Mediaster in its habitat.
Photo by Dr.A..Svoboda
mediaster Snail predation

Bright red (vermillion in fact) with large plates along its five arms. To 20 cm. Common just below the surface on low tides but hardly ever high and dry. These are abundant subtidally - you may find plenty after storms or extreme tides.

- http://www.wavelengthmagazine.com/1998/jj98neigh.htm

 Mediaster aequalis is one of the smaller sea stars ranging in size from three to seven inches.  It is found on many types of beaches at very low tides. 

- http://www.geocities.com/oscmarinetech/Animals.htm#Vermillion%20Star

The vermillion sea star is common in shallow subtidal waters. Its feeding area stretches to nearly the tip of each arm on the underside. The vermillion star, so named because of its colour can be found from the Alaskan Peninsula, south to southern Caifornia.

Colour: Vermillion aborally, more orange orally; tube feet red to flesh colour.

Habitat: common on rocks shell, sand, gravel, pebbles and mud.

Feeding: diet varies with substrate and season; eats encrustin sponges and bryozoans on ock; seapen.

Reproduction: breeds from March to May; number of eggs in 65mm sea star estimated at 1,800 per year. the eggs measure 1 to 1.2mm and are bright opaqe orange. It is estimated that Vermillion sea stars reach sexual maturity within four years.

Speed: The sea star can move anywhere between 27 and 40 cm per minute.

Reference: The Sea Stars of British Columbia, Lambert, 1981, British Columbia Provincial Museum, Victoria

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The Race Rocks Taxonomy
This file is provided as part of a collaborative effort
by the students of Lester B. Pearson College
Dec. 2001 Damien Guihen -
Ireland Year 27
Lester B. Pearson College