Purple Octopus - using citizen science to discover marine interactions
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Hippasteria phrygiana

(Parelius, 1768)

Paula Lightfoot Here is an exciting find made by Seasearch Surveyor and Tutor Nic Faulks during our dives in the Coquet to St Mary’s recommended Marine Conservation Zone on Sunday. This cushion star was around 10cm across and was recorded at 20 metres depth on a cobble/pebble seabed. It has been identified as Hippasteria phrygiana, an Arctic species which is common in Greenland, Iceland and Scandinavia but is rarely reported in our waters. There are three previous Seasearch records, all from Scotland of which two are from Shetland. This is the first record from Seasearch in England so it is an exceedingly rare find. It’s a great demonstration of the huge variety of species we get in UK waters - from the new arrivals on the south coast from France like the black face blenny and anemone prawn, to these Arctic species where our northerly coasts represent the most southerly distribution. Well done Nic, you are definitely our ‘star recorder’ (sorry)...

Spencer Cook Marvellous, Is this to go on the ID pages on SSNE website?

Paula Lightfoot That's a good idea, I'll email you Nic's photo. Not sure whether we'll be lucky enough to see another one, but at least we'll know what it is if we do! :-)

Andy Horton I have put a report on http://www.glaucus.org.uk/News2012.htm I would need permission to include the photograph with full credits and links.

Message posted on Seasearch on 17 Jul 2012
Animalia (Kingdom)
  Echinodermata (Phylum)
    Asterozoa (Subphylum)
      Asteroidea (Class)
        Valvatacea (Superorder)
          Valvatida (Order)
            Goniasteridae (Family)
              Hippasterinae (Subfamily)
                Hippasteria (Genus)
                  Hippasteria phrygiana (Species)
Associated Species