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Poraniella echinulata(Perrier,1881)

On hard substrates, beneath coral rubble and rock in shallow reef habitats.
Natural History Notes
This species is cryptically colored and has never been observed in great abundance.
P. echinulata is one of the smallest sea stars in the region, with individuals rarely exceeding 3 cm in diameter. The species has five arms that are wide, flat, very thin, and taper to blunt tips. The disk is broad and the ten largest aboral plates form a double circlet around its center. The skeleton of live animals is obscured by a thick, fleshy tissue. A fanlike array of long, flat spines occurs at the apex of each of the five jaws surrounding the mouth. The dorsal surface of the species is bright orange-red to blood red, variegated with white. The white pigment may form a pentagon at the center of the disk and a distinct stripe along the midline of each arm. The distal tips of the arms are mottled black and white, the fleshy papulae are pigmented pale orange, and the madreporite is light tan. The ventral surface is uniformly orange-red except for the white tips of the spines at the jaws' tips. The tube feet are transparent and colorless.
In Bocas Del Toro
Reported ByHendler, G.; Marine Invertebrate Taxonomy Workshop, Bocas del Toro, August 2003
Museum ReferencesLACM
LocalityBahía de Almirante
Compiled by
Lexi Weintraub
Handler, G., Miller, J. E., Pawson, D. L. and P. M. Kier.1995. Sea Stars, Sea Urchins, and Allies. Smithsonian Institution. Pages:81-2.
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