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|Abundance: very common||Distribution:
most common mid-shelf (20-30m)
also found at shelf-edge (100m)
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Dorsal ( left) and ventral views: Arms (rays) are approximately 5 cm in length.
This species has characteristic deep blue or purple coloration of the dorsal granulose paxillae,
with orange marginal plates. A fringe of paired white spines surrounds each arm.
Ventral views, showing numerous ambulacral spines and tube feet within the five ambulacral
grooves (left). The stellate mouth opening (right) has a set of 5 spine-covered jaws.
The madreporite (just above central disk) may be pale orange and slightly raised.
This feature has pores that connect to the seastar's water vascular system.
Left: Astropecten articulatus is one of the most abundant seastar species on the continental
shelf off the southeast U.S. coast. (These specimens were returned to the sea.)
Right: Many individuals can have arms as long as 9 cm.