Flattened with five relatively straight sided arms tapering to acute points giving a distinct star shape. The arms are fringed with a comb-like array of sharp spines along the length of their margin. Superomarginal plates width less than or subequal to length, with conspicuous spines except on second (or second to fourth) where plates are reduced and lack spines leaving a gap. Aboral surface dark purple to brown and oral surface cream to deep orange.
Tropical inshore and continental shelf areas from Narooma, NSW to Wagonga inlet, WA, also Great Barrier Reef, Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island; Kermadec Islands. Depth range 0-185 m.
Australian Museum registration database records for the Sydney region:
Woy Woy; Smiths Creek, Hawkesbury River; Pittwater (The Basin; Careel Bay); Port Jackson (east side Old Man's Hat, North Head; vicinity of Chinaman’s Beach; off Shark Island; Woolloomooloo Wharf); Botany Bay; Port Hacking (Gunnamatta Bay; Shiprock, Little Turriell Point). Depth range 0-27 m.
Sand, silty sediment.
Taxonomic information - synonyms and type material:
Astropecten polyacanthus Müller & Troschel, 1842: 69, pl. 5 (3a-b).
Type data: syntypes (probable) ZMB, MNHP.
Type locality: Red Sea.
Links for further information:
Clark (1946); Clark & Rowe (1971); Edgar (1997).