Flattened with five rigid, slightly tapering, arms that are shorter than the width of the cental disc and bluntly rounded distally. Arms meet at obtuse angles forming a distinct star shape. Dorsal surface somewhat spongy in appearance with indistinct plates, dull brown or grey to orange and red.
Inshore and continental shelf areas including Norfolk and Lord Howe Islands, from Caloundra, Qld south to Tasmania and west to Houtman Abrolhos, WA; Kermadec Ils, southwest Pacific Ocean. Depth range 0-60 m.
Australian Museum registration database records for the Sydney region:
Pittwater; Whale Beach; Long Reef; Port Jackson (near Cobblers Beach, Middle Head; Watson’s Bay; Bottle and Glass Rocks); Coogee Bay; Botany Bay (La Perouse). Depth range: not recorded.
Taxonomic information - synonyms and type material:
Asterias vernicina Lamarck, 1816: 554.
Type data: type status unknown MNHP.
Type locality: Australian seas (as 'les mers australes?').
Petricia punctata Gray, 1847: 81.
Type data: holotype BMNH 18220.127.116.11.
Type locality: Stephens Is., Torres Strait (as 'Reef of Attagor'), QLD.
Asteropsis imperialis Farquhar, 1898: 193, pl. 13(1-2).
Type data: holotype whereabouts unknown (whereabouts undetermined).
Type locality: Raoul Is. Kermadec Ils, SW Pacific.
Petricia obesa Clark, 1923: 241, pl. 13(1-2).
Type data: holotype, paratype(s) MCZ 2773.
Type locality: Pelsart Is., Houtman Abrolhos, WA.