Asthenosoma sp.(possibly varium) (Grube, 1868)
Not commonly seen in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Known from the Indo-west Pacific region, from Indonesia to Australia, New Caledonia and north to Japan.
Frequents sand and rubble areas and slopes. Sometimes seen in the open, from the shallows to a depth of 67 m.
Spines on the sides and dorsal surface are venomous, can inflict a painful wound and should not be handled. Locomotion is assisted by non-venomous spines on the underside of its test. Feeds on algae and small invertebrates. Known to host several commensal species including the shrimp Periclimines colemani. Grows to about 180 mm dia.
Neville Coleman, Sea Stars. Echinoderms of the Asia/Indo-Pacific. Neville Coleman's Underwater Geographic Pty Ltd, 2007. p.95.
Palomares, M.L.D. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. SeaLifeBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.sealifebase.org, version (06/2018). http://www.sealifebase.org/summary/Asthenosoma-varium.html. Accessed 10/10/2018.