species: Comatula solaris in taxonomy (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Comatula solaris

©Anne Hoggett: Underside of Comatula solaris from base of exposed reef slope at Lizard Island.

©Anne Hoggett: Comatula solaris from base of exposed reef slope at Lizard Island. Arrows show long combed pinnules.

©Anne Hoggett: Comatula solaris removed from under a slab of rubble at base of exposed reef slope, Lizard Island.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Echinodermata
Class Crinoidea
Order Comatulida
Family Comatulidae
Genus Comatula
Species Comatula solaris



Distinguishing features

Comatulids are distinguised from all other featherstar families by having terminal segments of the oral pinnules modified to form a comb. Comatulids a also have a distinctive "feel" due to well developed hooks on most pinnules that cause them to cling like velcro.

Comatula solaris has ten stiff, robust arms and a ring of small cirri. The first arm syzygy is between brachials 1 and 2, and the second is often between 3 and 4. It is distinguished from the similar-looking Comatula pectinata by having a longer comb on the oral pinnules.


  • Size data has not been obtained.

Depth range

  • Depth range data is not yet available.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Local abundance

  • Lizard Island: Uncommon.

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.
  • Summers, M. M., C.G. Messing and G.W. Rouse (2014). Phylogeny of Comatulidae (Echinodermata: Crinoidea: Comatulida): A new classification and an assessment of morphological characters for crinoid taxonomy, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 80: 319-339. LIRS catalog number 1813.

Other references

  • Messing, C.G., D.L. Meyer, U.E. Siebeck, L.S. Jermiin, D.I. Vaney and G.W. Rouse (2006). A modern soft-bottom, shallow-water crinoid fauna (Echinodermata) from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, Coral Reefs, 25: 164-168. LIRS catalog number 956.