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FAQs about Crown of Thorns Sea Stars

Related Articles: Crown of Thorns Sea StarAsterina Stars, An Introduction to the Echinoderms:  The Sea Stars, Sea Urchins, Sea Cucumbers and More... By James W. Fatherree, M.Sc.

Related FAQs: Sea Stars 1, Sea Stars 2, Sea Stars 3, Sea Stars 4, Sea Stars 5, Seastar Selection, Seastar Compatibility, Seastar Systems, Seastar Behavior, Seastar Feeding, Seastar Reproduction, Seastar Disease Asterina Stars, Chocolate Chip Stars, Fromia Stars, Linckia Stars, Linckia Stars 2, Sand-Sifting Stars,

Shared from BBC News. Acanthaster star death robot/ROV       9/3/15
<Wonder what it uses to detect and exactly what it's injecting into the Crown of Thorns. B>
Neat robot. Another Acanthaster killer story        9/8/15

John and Colleen Powell
<Yes; thank you John. Have seen blurbs from both the BBC and an Australian news svc. re.... Would like more details; to wit: what is the nature of the targeting mechanism, and what is actually being injected. Cheers, Bob Fenner

Acanthaster planci, fragmentation/regeneration    8/25/11
<Hi there>
My name is Raphael and I wanted to know if there is any information about the regeneration of the Acanthaster planci star fish.
<Oh yes... this tremendously-perceived pest has been extensively studied>
All I can find is that every each arm may regenerate and form a new star fish, but nowhere I can find any information about how long that takes, what conditions were needed and so on.
<The former depends on the latter>
Therefore I would like to set up an experiment with Acanthaster. The fragments of the star fish can not eat until they have regenerated their inner organs. By that time they so don't need any food, right?
So an observation tank for such an experiment only has to provide the physico-chemical factors but does not need any life <live> corals. At least that's my guess. Any experiences with Acanthaster and its ability to regenerate?
<Just pragmatic... in the P.I. gathering them on sticks and drying them on the beach, in the sun. Seeing folks/children do the same in Roratonga in the Cooks, in S. Sulawesi at Wakatobi, myself feeding them to Charonia in various places like Hawaii... No science on my part, but has been done. See here re searching pertinent literature: http://wetwebmedia.com/litsrchart.htm
Bob Fenner>
best whishes,
Raphael Strohmaier

Crown Of Thorns Starfish 5/27/09
<Hello Uzziel>
Hi my name is Uzziel Guzman and I am doing a research paper on The crown of thorns sea star and I have quite a few questions to ask you.
Is there a short term and a long term concern with the star?
<Not that I'm aware of.>
What is being done today to help with the stars, who should be responsible for the issue (public, government, or beach communities)Is there any type of clean up occurring today?
<Uzziel, your best bet is to do a Google search on the Crown Of Thorns Starfish. I'm sure you will find the latest information on the subject.
James (Salty Dog)>

Crown of Thorns Starfish, sys.   1/19/08 Is it possible to keep a Crown of Thorns Starfish in a reef aquarium? <Have seen this attempted at public aquaria. Acanthaster species are/get very large... and eat only live Scleractinian polyps...> I have a new 90G tank and I plan to put coral, and some mollusks and starfish into it. <This is too small> I was just wondering if a Crown of Thorns Starfish would cause harm to the other creatures in the tank. I also heard that they were poisonous. <Venomous> If it dies, will it poison my tank and kill all of the fish? How does it get along with other starfish and clams? <Likely so> Do C.O.T.S.F need any special care or live food? How big do they get and what type of temperatures would it need to survive? <Are survivors... live initially on reef flats, in shallow, eating and growing voraciously...> Thanks for your help! Aly <Food as stated, A. planci gets to about 18 inches across. Live in typical "reef cond.s", as their food/stony corals. Bob Fenner>

Crown of Thorns Seastar, and coldwater anemone species searching...   5/19/07          Hi Bob, Please tell me where I can buy some Crown of Thorns Seastars. <For... research?> I would also like to buy some Frilled Anemones (Metridium senile). Where can I find these? <Have your dealer contact Quality Marine in Los Angeles re. Bob Fenner>                                                                                                               Thanks, Marc Chatham

Sea star freshwater dip??? Hi guys!! I was reading your crown of thorn articles and it says in there that it is a ok to do a freshwater dip to Seastars.....I thought those were very sensitive to salinity.....Maybe I read it wrong but id like some info on it if you guys do freshwater dips on stars. and if you do. how do you do it? Thanks very much http://www.wetwebmedia.com/crnthrnstr.htm DERIK <Yeeikes! Thank you for this. Am wondering if at the time I wrote this (not for print), that I was simply trying to aid in this pest animal's eradication! Will change. Bob Fenner>

What's in the Crown of Thorns Seastar name? Hi, For a book I am writing: What does the name Acanthaster planci mean? <Acanth is "thorn", aster for "star", plank in honor of the Max Planck institute> regards, John <Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Acanthaster planci Dear Bob, That's very fast! Can you tell me who Max Planck is/was? (profession, date of birth/died, country?) <Please see here: http://www.mpg.de/english/ Bob Fenner> Thanks, John Serton

Name of star Dear Bob, Acanthaster planci got its name in honor of Max Planck. Is that correct? <Mmm no... maybe the institute?> If so: - it should be plancKi instead of planci - he was into physics, not into marine biology or close related science - the animal got its name from Linnaeus in 1758. Max was living from 1858-1947 Could it be that they renamed the animal later (between 1858 and 1947)? <Nope... I must have been wrong re the connection twixt the institute and the animal. On looking further, I find (Fossa and Nilsen vol. 4 of Modern Coral Reef Aquariums) that A. planci was first described by Rumphus in 1705, later named by Linne/Linnaeus in 1758... and in trying to find the meaning of the root planci/plancus it appears to be related to the root of the word "plankton", in reference to slow moving (all the animals with this term as their species names are echinoderms...).> Is there a source? <The best is going to be the original description (or transliteration thereof), likely a work re the 10th ed. of Systema Naturae (by Linnaeus)... calling for a visit to a large (college) library. Bob Fenner> Regards, John Serton

Sea Stars & Brittle Stars Classes Asteroidea and Ophiuroidea Hello Robert, my name is John. I really enjoy your articles on WetWebMedia. I also enjoyed your book "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist", I often look for advice from this book! <Ah, good to read they're of use> I am a little confused about brittle stars. I purchased one today for my 55G reef. The fish stores tank said black brittle stars, they looked black, about 4 - 5" or so from arm to arm. <Okay> After acclimating him (in near darkness) I couldn't really see his color. Once he was in the tank, (still dark) I noticed he looked greenish? Maybe it was because the lights were off, and I didn't want to turn on the lights and stress it. I will look tomorrow and see. <Can look very different when stressed, in different lighting... most avoid daylight exposure> What I would like to know is are the green and black brittle stars noticeably different in color? The black should have no green right? I have heard horror stories about the greens. If I check tomorrow and he's all green he's gone! They grow to about 5" or so right? (black) <Should look decidedly darkish... not bright or light green> Are the black's fish eaters? Any really good or in depth articles on brittle stars you know of? Thanks for all the help! <I'd look on the Net using your search engines> Keep them books coming! <Will do so my friend. Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Researching Starfish Dear Bob, My name is Caroline Williams and I am currently an undergraduate studying BSc Zoology (Hons) at The University of Nottingham. I am doing an intercalated year out at The Oceanarium, St Davids, Wales. The Oceanarium for a number of years has been a centre for chemoattractant research in fish, Crustacea and Mollusks. During this year, I will be undertaking a research project studying starfish predation. We have recently discovered chemicals that Echinoderms are attracted to, and simple experiments performed here so far have shown that starfish are easily trapped using methods involving these chemicals. We are now investigating possible applications of this knowledge. I am looking for people around the world who are also researching this area, or know of current methods used to inhibit starfish predation. I would like to find out to what extent starfish predation is threatening Aquaculture populations, and I wish to find out where the results of my research would be of value. So far, I have found that these chemicals would be valuable in a number of very different areas. I have had a lot of response from people on the East coast of USA and Canada, where starfish predate heavily on shellfish beds there. In Australia and the Indo-Pacific, the Crown of Thorns starfish has, for a long time, been a major problem on the coral reefs. At the moment, I'm trying to organize a visit to test the chemicals on COTS to see if they have the same effect. Also the Northern Pacific Sea Star threatens Aquaculture populations in Japan and Tasmania (all round the Pacific in fact). A very different application would be in sea urchin farming, as we have found that the chemicals not only attract Spiny Starfish (Marthasterias glacialis) and Common Starfish (Asterias rubens) but also the Edible Sea Urchin (Echinus esculentus). I would be very grateful of any assistance, and can be contacted at the following address: Caroline Williams, Researcher. The Oceanarium, 42, New Street, St Davids, Pembrokeshire, UK SA62 6SS Tel: 0044 0437 720453 Email: Caroline@sealife.demon.co.uk <I will gladly assist you in whatever ways I may, but don't know specifically what you are seeking here. My bent in the aquatic sciences is almost exclusively ornamental (pet-fish), and very little of the field deals with echinoderm attractants or their specific predations (in culture or no). Will send your msg. along to possible parties that may further assist you (perhaps in the gathering of specimens, anecdotal information, further introductions...?), and post this on my www.wetwebmedia.com site for others perusal/offering of help. Bob Fenner>

White Sand Star, Archaster sp Hi Bob, My favorite fish dropped dead right in front of me this morning :(  First he was swimming along normally, and then I noticed that he was lying on the bottom. He had a few convulsions, shook, and died while I watched in frustration. <Unsettling> I am really bummed!!! The tank is in great shape and everything is healthy, so at first, the only thing that I could think of was that I had been unlucky enough to actually be right there to witness the poor thing dying from natural causes. <Possibly> A couple of minutes later, I noticed that one of my sand sifting starfish had a couple of bites taken out of it!! The Angel had never bothered my corals, but had been known to nip at my serpent star. The sand-sifters are relatively new additions. Could it have poisoned him? I have researched, but I can't seem to find any information regarding toxicity. <Good question, observation. I don't know.... there are definite toxic starfishes: http://wetwebmedia.com/CrnThrnStr.htm  Perhaps present your question to a larger audience like the chatrooms, bb's. Ours: http://talk.wetwebfotos.com/  Thank you for writing. Bob Fenner> Thanks in advance!

My second question is, I was looking over your website and happened to take a glance at the Crown of Thorns sea star. It sounded like it would be an interesting addition to my tank. Would it be compatible with the other tankmates? And exactly how poisonous are they? I don't really want something that could kill me. :) Thank you once again for your advice. Steve Weatherly ps. I haven't been on your website in quite a while, its looking great! >> Not incompatible when small... but are coral eaters... and are very venomous... Don't want to handle one bare-handed... Offered in the trade every now and then as novelties... Small species, specimens only, please. Bob Fenner

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