Purple Linckia (Leiaster teres)
Phylum: Echinodermata, Class: Asteroidea
Range: Eastern Pacific Ocean, Gulf of California
Size: 6 in. Space:: 100+ gal. Diet: Unknown
Reef Safe: Yes Care Level: Moderate Temperament: Peaceful
Natural History: Purple Linckia starfish found in shallow seas where they crawl over rocks in search of food. They are nocturnal and hide beneath rocks by day. Their actual food is unknown but presumed to include films, detritus, and algae they find on rocks. They are preyed upon by some pufferfishes, predatory Triton (Charonia) sea snails, harlequin shrimp, and some anemones. They are parasitized by tiny snails (Thyca crystallina) which must be pried off of their body with a forceps, if infested.
Husbandry: Purple Linckia starfish are popular starfish for reef aquaria. Its natural diet is unknown, and presumed to at least include algae or detritus. Purple Linckia should be provided live rock with ledges and recesses that will allow it to hide during the day. It can reproduce asexually by separation of its arms. The Purple Linckia MUST be acclimated VERY slowly to a new aquarium, with a drip acclimation of up to 4 hours or more. The Purple Linckia is actually a different genus of starfish than the Blue Linckia and is reported to be much easier to care for than its blue cousin.
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