|Feeding rates of starfish, Asterias forbesi (Desor) at controlled water temperatures and during different seasons of the year|
MacKenzie Jr., C.L. (1969). Feeding rates of starfish, Asterias forbesi (Desor) at controlled water temperatures and during different seasons of the year. Fish. Bull. 68(1): 67-72
In: Fishery Bulletin. US Government Printing Office: Washington, D.C.. ISSN 0090-0656, more
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Starfish were held for 28 days in trays of running sea water maintained at a series of constant temperatures. Ample numbers of oysters were provided as food. During this period, at 5.0°C, each starfish ate an average of 2.3 oysters, at 10.0°C, 3 oysters; at 15.0°C, 4.2 oysters; at 20.0°C, 5.0 oysters; at 22.5°C, 2.8 oysters, and at 25.0°C, 1 oyster. Thus, the optimum temperature for feeding was 20.0 -C. Starfish lost weight when held with oysters at temperatures above 23.5 C. Observations of variations in seasonal feeding rates were made from trays holding 20 starfish with oysters suspended in Milford Harbor. Starfish fed at low rates from mid-January to the end of March. From then until late June or early July, feeding increased rapidly. After spawning, starfish fed at about one-third of the rate recorded in late June. The period of low feeding, which appeared to be associated with both high temperatures (above 22.5- C.) and spawning, lasted from July through September. From late October, through December, the rate of feeding increased again to about two-thirds of its level in late June and early July. The rate again became low by mid-January.