Filling the gaps: first record of the Crown-of-thorns Starfish, Acanthaster planci (Linnaeus, 1758) (Spinulosida: Acanthasteridae), at Gorgona Island, Colombia, Tropical Eastern Pacific

Fernando A. Zapata, María del Mar Palacios, Valentina Zambrano, Melina Rodríguez-Moreno


We report the occurrence of a major corallivore, the Crown-of-thorns Starfish Acanthaster planci, on the coral reefs of Gorgona Island, Tropical Eastern Pacific. Three individuals were sighted on opposite sides of the island, where they fed on small coral colonies of Pavona varians and Pocillopora damicornis. These sightings are noteworthy in light of reports that have demonstrated that the geographic distribution of A. planci is gradually increasing in the equatorial eastern Pacific, particularly south of the Gulf of Chiriquí (Panama) where it was previously absent.


coral reefs; corallivores; echinoderms; range extension; starfish

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