species: Comanthus briareus in Lizard Island Field Guide (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Comanthus briareus

©Lyle Vail: Underside of Comanthus briareus at Watson's Bay, Lizard Island, off Chinaman's Ridge, 16 metres depth at night. Note absence of cirri, large flat centrodorsal plate, many arms.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Echinodermata
Class Crinoidea
Order Comatulida
Family Comatulidae
Genus Comanthus
Species Comanthus briareus



Distinguishing features

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

Comanthus briareus is a moderate-sized crinoid with up to 75 arms. It has a large thin centrodorsal plate and may have no cirri or up to about 17 weak cirri. It is only found in the Lizard Island area in deeper-water soft sediment habitats.


  • Size data has not been obtained.

Depth range

  • Depth range data is not yet available.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

At Lizard Island, Comanthus briareus is known from very few specimens from non-reef habitats only.

Web resources


References that assist with identification

  • Rowe, F.W.E., A.K. Hoggett, R.A. Birtles and L.L. Vail (1986). Revision of some comasterid general from Australia (Echinodermata: Crinoidea), with descriptions of two new genera and nine new species, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 86: 197-277. LIRS catalog number 198.
  • 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

  • Lowry, J.K. and B.A.R. Azman (2008). A new genus and species of cyproideid amphipod associated with unstalked crinoids on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, Zootaxa, 1760: 59-68. LIRS catalog number 1186.