Meridiastra calcar (Lamarck, 1816)

Common Name: 
Eight-armed Seastar
Distribution: 

Common in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. In Australia recorded from southern Queensland, around the south of the continent to around Perth in Western Australia, and including Tasmania

Ecological Notes: 

Frequents rocky shores, rock pools, sheltered reef areas. Depth range mid intertidal to 10 m.

Additional Notes: 

Flattened body with striking colouration, combinations of red, greens, browns and blues. Usually with 7 to 9 short arms with rounded webbed divisions between each arm. Aboral surface has scale-like appearance. Omnivorous, feeding mainly on algae, mussels and other seastars. Grows to around 100 mm across.

References: 

Identification thanks to Dr. Maria Byrne, FAA, Professor Marine and Developmental Biology, University of Sydney

Byrne, M. and O'Hara. T.D. (eds) (2017). Australian Echinoderms: Biology, Ecology and Evolution. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne and ABRS, Canberra, 612 pp. p.252.

Graham J. Edgar. Australian Marine Life, 2nd Edition, 2008. Reed New Holland Publishers. pp.398-9.

Atlas of Living Australia website at https://bie.ala.org.au/search?q=meridiastra+calcar. Accessed 10/10/2019.