April 8, 1998
From: Kirsten Benkendorff
I have enclosed a photo of what looks like predation on some Dolabrifera egg ribbons by the starfish Pateriella exigua. I have only ever observed this once so if anyone else has seen something like this could you please let me know. I am interested in any form of predation on any mollusc egg masses.
Department of Biological Science,
University of Wollongong,
email@example.comBenkendorff, K., 1998 (Apr 8) Egg predation - Dolabrifera. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/56
Note: The egg ribbon is of Dolabrifera brazieri. 24 April 2003
I have passed your query on to Maria Byrne at Sydney University who is an expert on the biology of Patiriella. Patiriella exigua is considered a herbivore and the scrape or tear marks in your photo don't look like they have been done by a starfish which exudes its "stomach" out when feeding and digestive enzymes dissolve the food in situ. To those who don't know, Patiriella exigua is a common little five-armed starfish found from New South Wales around to South Australia. I have put a yellow ring around the "suspected villain" in the photo Kirsten sent me. Has anyone else seen something similar?.. Bill Rudman.