Echinoderm Diversity Asteroidea

Asteroids (Figs 26.1, 26.2A—F), although diverse, are generally not abundant, with the exception of the spectacular outbreaks of Acanthaster planci (Fig. 26.1A) (Box 26.1). They occur in reef, soft sediment and rubble habitats. Luidia and Astropecten species are found in lagoon and inter-reefal sediment habitats. The Ophidi-asteridae is a large family of tropical sea stars including the distinct blue sea star Linckia laevigata (Fig. 26.1B) and other common species Fromia milleporella (26.1!), Nardoa novaecaledoniae (26.1E) and Ophidiaster granifer. The Asterinidae (Fig. 26.2A-E) is a species rich family that is particularly challenging with respect to species identification due to the presence of morphospecies

BOX 26.1 FAMILY ACANTHASTERIDAE

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