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Blue Sea Star (Linckia laevigata) - Reef Reality Episode 12

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Blue Sea Star (Linckia laevigata) - Reef Reality Episode 12

Reef Reality Episode Voice Over

The blue sea star, sometimes called the blue Linckia, is a species of sea star found on shallow reef areas exposed to sunlight and on rocks in tropical Indo-Pacific waters.  This sea star is thought to be a detritivore, meaning that it feeds on detritus, small invertebrates living on algal mats and dead animals.
Blue sea stars are capable of defensive autotomy against predators. They can sever their five appendages as a self-defense mechanism to elude a predator's grasp, and regenerate these lost body part later.

Species Health / Vulnerability

Low to moderate, but not listed on IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Description

Linckia laevigata, or blue sea stars have five blue arms and grow up to 30 centimetres in length. They have rounded tips at each of its arms and short, yellowish tube feet.

Regions & Habitat

An inhabitant of shallow coral reefs exposed to sunlight, rocks and sea grass beds in depths up to 60 metres, this species is quite common in the Indo-West Pacific region. Juveniles hide under corals and rocks.

Feeding

The blue sea star is thought to be a detritivore, feeding on detritus, small invertebrates living on algal mats and dead animals. Blue sea stars are preyed on by pufferfishes, triton shells, harlequin shrimp and some sea anemones. They are also prone to parasitisation by some parasitic gastropods.

Biggest Threats

Overfishing - this animal is dried out and traded for curios or decoration. Some regions of their habitat have seen significant population decline due to the continuous harvesting by the industry and tourists. This species has yet to be bred in captivity for sustainable harvest.

How to Help

1) Be an informed consumer by carefully considering the marine curios that you buy. Ask the store owner or manager from what country the sea star is taken and whether or not that country has a management plan to insure that the harvest was legal and sustainable over time.

2) CLICK HERE for 40 Marine Conservation Tips - How YOU can Make a Difference!

Submitted by The Reef Reality Series on Feb 1, 2010