November 14, 2007
From: John Chuk
Here are two images of a seastar (Coscinasterias muricata) dining on a specimen of Doris cameroni. The seastar is a small specimen and was found on the underside of a rock. Nearby was half a whorl of egg-ribbon belonging to D. cameroni, which may suggest that when the seastar met the dorid it was egg-laying.
Locality: Portsea Pier, 4m, Victoria, Australia, Port Phillip Bay, 27 November 2006. Photographer: John Chuk.
The seastar was reluctant to stop feeding when disturbed, instead it crawled away still firmly holding the nudibranch. This is the first time I've met a seastar feeding on a nudibranch.
firstname.lastname@example.orgChuk, J., 2007 (Nov 14) Dining on a dorid. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/20953
I must agree that I have never seen a starfish eat an opisthobranch - and Jan Kocian's messages from the NE Pacific showing starfish rejecting sea slugs certainly suggests your observation is an unusual occurrence - though I guess we don't know what goes on beneath a large starfish as it crawls along. I'll add it to the feeding record page.