Rosy Feather Star

Rosy Feather Star

The Rosy Feather Star (Antedon bifida) is a species of sea lily (related to brittlestars and sea urchins) which is fairly common around the British Isles. It is found in its highest numbers along the western coast of Scotland and is less common (although still found) around the eastern coast of Scotland and England. It can be found in depths ranging from a few metres deep, all of the way down to several hundred metres.

This species takes the form of a small disc-like body with a number of arms protruding from the edges. The colour is usually a mottled red to orange with white. The underside of the disc has around fifty tendrils coming from it, which the rosy feather star uses to cling to rocks and stone, although it can use the tendrils to ‘walk’ freely and surprisingly quickly, and have a very limited ability to swim by moving their arms to propel them through the water. They are suspension feeders and hold their arms upwards to trap sediment and plankton which they then feed on. Their arms can also be folded inwards when the rosy feather star is resting.

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