Leiaster sp. (Peters, 1852)

Distribution: 

Uncommon in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Discontinuous distribution throughout the Indo-West Pacific region. In Australia known from about Perth in Western Australia, north to reefs on the North West Shelf, and from the Great Barrier Reef south to northern New South Wales, and including Lord Howe Island.

Ecological Notes: 

Frequents shallow water reefs, coral rubble to at least 79 m depth.

Additional Notes: 

Two common species have similar colouration, Leiaster leachi is cream with red blotches, while similar Leiaster coriaceus has orange or brown blotching. Has a velvety appearance and feel, grows to about 500 mm diameter. Knife in bottom photograph is 175 mm long.

References: 

Davie, Peter. Wild Guide to Moreton Bay and Adjacent Coasts. Second Edition. Published by Queensland Museum. Vol 2, p.261.

Atlas of Living Australia website at https://bie.ala.org.au/search?q=leiaster. Accessed 11/10/2018.