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Oreaster reticulatusLinnaeus, 1758Oreaster reticulatus
Common Name: Cushioned Star

Prefers the shallow, calm waters of reef flats, lagoons, and mangrove channels.
North Carolina through the Caribbean to Brazil, as well as Cape Verde and Western Africa.
Natural History Notes
This seastar is probably the most widely known and most easily identified member of the Caribbean marine biota. It is often dried and sold as gifts. O. reticulatus feeds primarily on microorganisms and the particulate matter associated with sand, seagrass, and algal substrates, but has the ability to graze on algae or prey upon other echinoderms. The stomach is everted to envelop prey, and digestion occurs outside the body.
The triton gastropod Charonia variegata is the only confirmed predator of the adult sea star; juveniles are consumed by fish.
Individuals are robust and can reach a diameter of 50cm. The massive central disk is inflated and supports five short, slightly tapering arms. The plates carry numerous prominent tubercles. The lower surface is flat.
Other Literature
Guzman, H. M. and Guevara, C. A. 2002. Annual reproductive cycle, spatial distribution, abundance, and size structure of Oreaster reticulatus (Echinodermata: Asteroidea) in Bocas del Toro, Panama. Marine Biology (Berlin). 141(6): 1077-1084.
Wulff, J. L. 1995. Sponge-feeding by the Caribbean starfish Oreaster reticulatus. Marine Biology (Berlin). 123(2): 313-325.
Metaxas, A., Scheibling, R. E., et. al. 2002. Estimating fertilization success in marine benthic invertebrates: A case study with the tropical sea star Oreaster reticulatus. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 226: 87-101.
In Bocas Del Toro
Reported ByHector Guzmán & Carlos Guevara
LocalityBoca del Drago to the Northern point fo Península Valiente, Isla Bastimentos, Solarte and Colon Island and Bahía de Almirante.
ObservationsCommon in most big seagrass beds in Bocas del Toro.
Compiled by
Lexi Weintraub
Oreaster reticulatus
Oreaster reticulatus
Oreaster reticulatus
Oreaster reticulatus
Collin, R., M.C. Diaz, J. Norenburg, R.M. Rocha, J.A. Sanchez, A. Schulz, M.L. Schwartz and A. Valdes. 2005. Photographic identification guide to some common marine invertebrates of Bocas Del Toro, Panama. Caribbean Journal of Science 41: 638-707.

Handler, G., Miller, J. E., Pawson, D. L. and P. M. Kier. 1995. Sea Stars, Sea Urchins, and Allies. Smithsonian Institution. Pages:82-84.

Clark, Hubert Lyman. 1933. A handbook of the littoral echinoderms of Porto Rico and the other West Indian islands. Scientific survey of Porto Rico and the Virgin Islands, vol. 16, pt. 1. 1-147.
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