General Description

Arms 5, arm rays merge with disc, pentagonal. Six large plates around the edge between arm tips. Plates on oral surface underneath near the mouth usually bare. Colour varies including uniform orange, or mottled and star-shaped patterns of multiple colours including in brown, pink and purple. The related Tosia neossia may sometimes appear similar but has alternating radiating lines rather than stellate patternation. Centre to arm tip up to 5 cm.

Biology

Biscuit Stars feed on encrusting invertebrates and sponges. This species was recently split into two species. The one that kept this name does not brood embryos under the body like similar species do.

Distribution

Southern Australian coasts.

Habitat

In the open or under rocks in the lower intertidal and sub-tidal zones, to depth of 40 m.

More Information

  • Animal Type

    Seastars & allies

  • Animal SubType

    Seastars

  • Brief Id

    Arms 5, pentagonal, 6 plates along edge between arm tips, multi-coloured.

  • Colours

    Brown, White, Green, Red

  • Habitats

    Reefs

  • Diet

    Carnivore

  • Diet Categories

    Encrusting Invertebrates, Sponge

  • Endemicity

    Native to Australia

  • Commercial

    No

  • Depths

    Deep ( > 30 m)

  • Water Column Locations

    On or near seafloor

  • Taxon Name

    Tosia australis

  • Scientific Author

    Gray, 1840

  • Common Name

    Biscuit Star

  • Other Names

    Seastar

  • Phylum

    Echinodermata

  • Class

    Asteroidea

  • Order

    Valvatida

  • Family

    Goniasteridae

  • Genus

    Tosia

  • Species Name

    australis