species: Dichrometra palmata in Lizard Island area: all known taxa (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Dichrometra palmata

©Lyle Vail: Dichrometra palmata is fully exposed only at night.

©Anne Hoggett: This specimen, photographed deep in a hole during the day, is probably Dichrometra palmata.

©Lyle Vail: The same Dichrometra palmata specimen as above showing numerous cirri and the division series closely abutting each other (arrows).
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Echinodermata
Class Crinoidea
Order Comatulida
Family Mariametridae
Genus Dichrometra
Species Dichrometra palmata



Distinguishing features

A moderately-sized crinoid with up to about 40 very slender arms and numerous, robust cirri. Division series are straight-side and meet each other laterally (see 3rd photo, red arrows). Enlarged proximal pinnules taper to a flexible point. This species is very flexible and soft.

Colouration of this species is striking and varied. There is usually a concentric banding pattern evident and colours include green and white, grey and black, grey and brown, purple and white, and uniform burnt orange.


  • Up to 25 cm (diameter)

Depth range

  • Depth range data is not yet available.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

Lamprometra palmata is generally completely concealed during the day within the reef or under rubble slabs. However, it is a conspicuous member of the nocturnal crinoid fauna. It emerges from its crevice just before sunset and climbs to an elevated perch nearby where it feeds during the night.

This species is found throughout the island group and it is particularly common at North Point.

Web resources


References that assist with identification

  • Clark, A.M. and F.W.E. Rowe (1971). Monograph of shallow-water Indo-west Pacific echinoderms British Museum (Natural History), London.
  • Taylor, K.H., G.W. Rouse and C.G. Messing (2018). Revising Mariametridae: the genera Dichrometra, Lamprometra, and Liparometra (Echinodermata: Crinoidea). Systematics and Biodiversity, 16:2, 142-159, DOI: 10.1080/14772000.2017.1375044. LIRS catalog number 2196.

Other references

  • Meyer, D.L. (1979). Length and spacing of the tube feet in crinoids (Echinodermata) and their role in suspension-feeding, Marine Biology, 51: 361-369. LIRS catalog number 29.
  • View all references