An amphinomid worm predator of the crown-of-thorns sea star and general predation on asteroids in eastern and western Pacific coral reefs.

P. W. Glynn

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33 Scopus citations


Pherecardia striata, an amphinomid polychaete, is abundant in Panama on Pacific pocilloporid coral reefs where it feeds on live and injured asteroids (Acanthaster planci and phanerozonic sea stars). Pherecardia was not present on coral reefs in Samoa and Guam. Pherecardia has a varied diet. The worm locates its prey by weak chemoreception; it prefers crustaceans over most other prey. The diversity of species of animals feeding on sea stars (at least 12 species) in Panama was higher than in Guam and Samoa. Attack rates by predators and scavengers were also higher in Panama. Disintegration rates of dead Acanthaster were highest in Panama (4 vs 8 days in Guam), probably a result of the intensity of predation and scavenging there. No evidence exists for Acanthaster outbreaks in Panama, where Pherecardia and a shrimp (Hymenocera picta) are abundant and together seem to keep the number of sea stars at a low level. -from Author

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-71
Number of pages18
JournalBulletin of Marine Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1984


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science

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