species: Leiaster leachii in ALA: LIRS and surrounds using records to Oct. 2021 (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Leiaster leachii

©Anne Hoggett: Leiaster leachii, found in the lagoon entrance channel in less than 2 metres depth, under a large slab of coral rubble. It is now in the collection of the Western Australian Museum.

©Anne Hoggett: Leiaster leachii at night, as found exposed on sand in 3 m depth close to reef near main moorings at Lizard Island Research Station. Maximum radius is about 18 cm.

©Anne Hoggett: Leiaster leachii at night, close to Lizard Island Research Station main mooring basin.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Echinodermata
Class Asteroidea
Order Valvatida
Family Ophidiasteridae
Genus Leiaster
Species Leiaster leachii



Distinguishing features

Thick, smooth skin all over gives this large starfish a slippery feel. Lizard Island specimens seem to be uniformly deep burgundy in colour but in other places they can be cream with irregular blotches of pink and orange.

This colour form was formerly identified as Leiaster speciosus but that name is now considered a synonym of Leiaster leachii (Marsh and Fromont, 2020).

This species in not often seen at Lizard Island. It is cryptic during the day and active at night.


  • Size data has not been obtained.

Depth range

  • Depth range data is not yet available.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

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.
  • Coleman, N. (2007). Sea Stars: Echinoderms of the Asia/Indo-Pacific Neville Coleman's Underwater Geographic, Springwood, Qld. Australia.
  • Marsh, L.M. and J. Fromont (2020). Field Guide to shallow water seastars of Australia. Western Australian Museum, Perth.