Acanthaster planci is a natural inhabitant of tropical reefs across the Indo-Pacific that feeds on reef-building corals. It is an interesting starfish because they are sometimes seen in high densities called an outbreak.
Commonly known as crown-of-thorns starfish or COT, it is locally known as 'bula' (Fiji), 'rrusech' (Palau), 'taramea' (French Polynesia) and 'alamea' (American Samoa and Tonga) in different islands in its distribution. In the Philippines, it is locally known as 'taeng kalabaw' (i.e., carabao dung) in the islands of Luzon.
|Photo by Dr. Jay MacLean from SeaLifeBase|
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