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Phylum Echinodermata > Class Stelleroida > Subclass Asteroidea > Genus Luidia
Eight-armed Luidia sea star
Luidia maculata
Family Luidiidae
updated Oct 2016

Where seen? This elegant and active sea star is sometimes seen on our Northern shores, on soft, silty shores, near seagrass meadows and coral rubble. It is usually seen alone, and not in large groups. It moves rapidly and is usually more active at night.

Features: Diameter with arms to 12-20cm. 5 to 9, usually 8 arms. The arms are long, somewhat rounded in cross-section, and tapered to a sharp tip, edged with small sharp spines along the sides. The upper surface of the body is covered with special flat-topped, pillar-like structures called paxillae. The underside is pale, and from grooves along the arms emerge large tube feet with club-like, pointed tips. Colours and patterns on the upperside are highly variable in shades of greyish blue, to brown and beige, but usually with a darker star-shaped pattern in the centre, and dark irregular bars along the length of the arms.

Sometimes mistaken for the Common sea star (Archaster typicus). The Common sea star has large tube feet with sucker-shaped tips, while the Eight-armed sand star has large tube feet with pointed tips.

What does it eat? According to Lane, it burrows in soft sediments and feeds on small buried animals such as molluscs and other echinoderms. Coleman has a photo of this sea star eating another sea star!

Status and threats: According to Lane, the Eight-armed sand star used to be common on our mainland shores. It is now listed as 'Endangered' on the Red List of threatened animals in Singapore. It was formerly found near the mainland prior to reclamation but recently known only from the Pulau Ubin and Pulau Tekong area in low numbers.

A huge one bigger than my foot!
Pulau Sekudu, Apr 06


Pointed tube feet.

Flat-topped, pillar-like structures called paxillae.

Close up of the mouth.

Underside.

Eight-armed Luidia sea stars on Singapore shores

Photos of Eight-armed Luidia sea stars for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map


With five arms.
Changi, May 16
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on facebook.

Changi, Jun 09
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Changi, Jul 08


Pulau Sekudu, Jul 09

Tanah Merah, May 13
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.


Tuas, Mar 15
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

In spawning position?
East Coast, Dec 08
 


Pulau Semakau, Aug 11

Photo shared by James Koh on his blog.

Links

References

  • Lane, David J.W. and Didier Vandenspiegel. 2003. A Guide to Sea Stars and Other Echinoderms of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre. 187pp.
  • Didier VandenSpiegel et al. 1998. The Asteroid fauna (Echinodermata) of Singapore with a distribution table and illustrated identification to the species. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 1998 46(2): 431-470.
  • Davison, G.W. H. and P. K. L. Ng and Ho Hua Chew, 2008. The Singapore Red Data Book: Threatened plants and animals of Singapore. Nature Society (Singapore). 285 pp.
  • Schoppe, Sabine, 2000. Echinoderms of the Philippines: A guide to common shallow water sea stars, brittle stars, sea urchins, sea cucumbers and feather stars. Times Edition, Singapore. 144 pp.
  • Coleman, Neville. 2007. Sea stars: Echinoderms of Asia/Indo-Pacific. Neville Coleman's Underwater Geographic Pty Ltd, Australia.136pp.
  • Gosliner, Terrence M., David W. Behrens and Gary C. Williams. 1996. Coral Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific: Animal life from Africa to Hawaii exclusive of the vertebrates Sea Challengers. 314pp.
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