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You are here:   animal list > Gomophia watsoni




Gomophia watsoni Livingstone 1936

Watson's Seastar

Shan Marshall (2011)



Fact Sheet


Brief Summary

Comprehensive Description

Physical Description

Appearance & Size


Habitat & Micro-habitats


Life History & Behaviour



Morphology and Physiology

External Morphology

Internal Anatomy

Tube Feet

Adhesion, Locomotion & Analysis



References & More Information



As is characteristic of echinoderms, the sea star G. watsoni is likely to maintain the capacity to regenerate. Regenerative structures, such as arms in asteroids, generally have a high functional importance however are not so essential that an individual cannot survive during regeneration (Lawrence et al. 1986). In the event that a component of the body is lost, the lost component (an arm for example) will sprout and regenerate multiple arms to form a completely new sea star. Similarly, a sea star that has lost its arm has the capacity to regrow and regenerate a new arm in place of the lost one. Although this is likely to have a significant survival and evolutionary advantage, the capacity to regenerate is not without cost. The loss of a body component often constitutes or is a result of a disturbance event, therefore imposes a significant cost upon the biology and energetics of the sea star (Lares & Lawrence 1994). Firstly, losing an arm will significantly reduce the locomotion and foraging capabilities of G. watsoni, thus decreasing potential energy acquisition from food it requires to regenerate. As the pyloric caeca and gonads are present within the arms, nutrient storage, digestion and reproductive output are likely to decrease(Pomory & Lares 2000); thus, a trade-off exists between the using energy to regenerate and using energy to reproduce (Lares & Lawrence 1994). G. watsoni may therefore allocate energy only to intact components when food is insufficient, or to reproduction when capable of acquiring food. Regeneration is often a costly and slow process, thus losing or harming an arm or component by disturbance or predation is likely to negatively affect the biological and reproductive functionalities of G. watsoni.