Serpent Star/Dusky Jaw Relationship!!


Colossal Squid
Staff member
Moderator (Staff)
Nov 20, 2002
Hi everyone! Here's something to think about!

Since Hermin passed, about a week after, I NEEDED something octo like so I bought a serpent starfish. This serpent star sat in one spot in the front of the tank. Through waterchanges, feedings to crabs that were left for about 2 weeks, in fact my daughtor swore it was dead. Today, I saw this huge dusky jawfish, he's about 5 inches long, had to have him, put him in the tank, left for errands, came back the the serpent star is gone.

So, I proceed to try to feed the jawfish, and behind the jaw comes serpent star legs! It proceeded to grab all the prawn and is now cohabitating with the jawfish! It's the most activity I've seen from it since I bought it!

Now, here's the thought! I wonder if since it was the only invert in the tank, was it depressed??? Do they establish a relationship with fish in the wild? I know someone on this site, mentioned the one he has, has a relationship with his octopus.

Makes me think there maybe more to these starfish than we realize!

Still not an octo, but not a bad replacement for now!!!

Carol :biggrin2:
Hi Carol --

I remember once, on a nature show, someone ran an experiment filming the activities of a couple of Starfish over several hours, and then played back the film in accelerated motion.

To the experimenter's amazement, the speeded-up tape showed the two Starfish engaged in a serious territorial battle. It had gone unnoticed by us because -- much like the aliens in the old STAR TREK episode "In the Blink of an Eye" -- we move much too fast to perceive any interactions that occur on the Starfish's incredibly slow level of activity. The same goes for Sloths, but since they are mammals we are more willing to attribute awareness to them.

I don't know if Starfish possess awareness, but after reading the results of the film experiment I am willing to attribute at least instinctive intent to their behavior.

As for "co-habiting" with the Jawfish -- well, ya never know. I've seen a short film documenting a Poriferan co-habiting harmoniously with a Gastropod, and both organisms engaging in significant behavioral interaction with an Echinoderm. Oops, sorry.... that must've been an episode of SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS! :roflmao:

Hi Carol

Yeah it was a brittle star of mine that kept in constant contact with a bimac :smile:

bimac gave up caring after a while too, seemed to just let the brittle star take the scraps rather than throw them away LOL

Hey Tani

I think I remember seeing that same show with the starfish. Quite a long time ago though. I really think at least the serpent star has some sort of sense, cause it seems to know when I open the lid of the tank. Before I even put food in, it starts looking.

So it was your creatures Colin!!! Should be interesting to see now that Dusky has been relocated, if the star finds Ink!!! Come to think of it, since I moved Dusky, Serpent has'nt been around!



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