Different species of starfish have a multitude of different mating behaviors and reproduction methods. The Paper, “Mating Behavior and Reproductive Cycle of Archaster typicus,” explores reproduction specifically in the starfish species Archaster typicus. It goes into detail about sex specific roles and what the exact processes are. The field studies were conducted in the intertidal zone of the sand beaches at Penghu, Taiwan in 1985.
During breeding season male starfish display increased mobility because males are responsible for mounting mates. The males are able to detect the sex of another individual through contact with the sides of their arms. Male Archaster typicus mount females in a way that its arms overlap the arms of the female. Once paired females initiate male spawning, by spawning first.
The males have a lower gonad volume when compared with the females. This results in high efficiency fertilization because it does not require large amounts of male gametes to be released for fertilization. Lower male gamete production is though to be caused by the higher mobility during mating season, which strains energy reserves. The fertilized eggs then free float in the oceanic currents until birth.
Starfish have proven to be very diverse and successful creatures. This is true for Archaster typicus with its odd mating habits and techniques. Although this type of mating may seem foreign to humans it has proven to be a success because of the proven fitness of this species. Although Archaster typicus and other invertebrates may be seen as lower creatures it is important to see the beauty and importance in all their life functions. Work Cited
J. Q. Run, C. P. Chen. “Mating Behaviors and Reproductive Cycle of Archaster typicus.” Marine Biology. 22 September, 1988: 247-255.