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Feeding and Distribution Study of the Sunflower Sea Star Pycnopodia helianthoides (Brandt, 1835)

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Title:Feeding and Distribution Study of the Sunflower Sea Star Pycnopodia helianthoides (Brandt, 1835)
Authors:Shivji, M.
Parker, D.
Hartwick, B.
Smith, M.J.
Sloan, N.A.
Date Issued:Apr 1983
Publisher:University of Hawai'i Press
Citation:Shivji M, ParkerD , Hartwick B, Smith MJ, Sloan NA. 1983. Feeding and distribution study of the sunflower sea star Pycnopodia helianthoides (Brandt, 1835). Pac Sci 37(2): 133-140.
Abstract:Observations are reported on the feeding biology of Pycnopodia
helianthoides (Brandt) in Barkley Sound, British Columbia, in areas of differing
wave exposure . Three hundred asteroids were examined; 220 were feeding on
prey representing II taxa , with heaviest predation on gastropods, bivalves, and
crustaceans. P. helianthoides found on soft substrates were larger than those
inhabiting hard substrates. Juvenile sea stars (< 5 cm diameter) were found
primarily at protected sites often on kelp substrate. The observed size distributions
of P. helianthoides may be the result of the nature of food resources
available in different habitats. Significant positive correlations were obtained
between sea star size and prey size except in the case of the gastropod Tegula
pulligo. The possible importance of sea star predation on this snail is discussed.
Appears in Collections: Pacific Science Volume 37, Number 2, 1983

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