updated Mar 2020
fast moving sea star is commonly encountered on our Northern shores.
In sandy or silty shores. It comes out in large numbers at sunset.
During the day, it usually remains buried in the sand or silt. So far, not seen in the South on the intertidal. According to Marsh and Fromont, it is moderately common on silty sand, weed and sand and shells in Australia.
Features: Diameter with arms 4-6cm. Body rather flat. Usually 5 arms
long, tapered to a sharp tip. Stout
flat long spines along the arms. These spines resemble the teeth of a comb and members
of this family are sometimes called Comb sea stars. The spines are
usually tinged a bright orange at the base with white tips. The marginal
plates on the sides of the arms are not so large. Upperside
generally a plain bluish brown, with a darker brown centre and a brown stripe
down the length of each arm. The tips of the arms are black. Underside white without markings. Tubefeet translucent with pointed tips.
What does it eat? According to Marsh and Fromont, it eats clams.
Stout flat spines
on the sides. |
Pointed tube feet
|Feeding on a star: Sometimes, tiny white snails are found on the upperside. These are parasitic
snails (Family Eulimidae).
*Species are difficult
to positively identify without close examination.
On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience of
sand stars on Singapore shores
|Other sightings on Singapore shores
Coney Island, Oct 20
Photo shared by Richard Kuah on facebook.
Pulau Ubin OBS, Jan 16
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on facebook.
Changi Lost Coast, Jun 22
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.
East Coast-Marina Bay, Jan 21
Photo shared by Vincent Choo on facebook.
Tuas, Mar 09
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.
- Loisette M. Marsh and Jane Fromont. Field Guide to Shallow Water Seastars of Australia. 2020. Western Australian Museum. 543pp
- K. S. Loh
. 31 Aug.2011. Diet
and feeding in the sea star Astropecten indicus (Doderlein,
1888). The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 2011 59 (2): 251-258
and Loh Kok Sheng's blog
post about this study.
- 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.