species: Oligometra carpenteri in Lizard Island Field Guide (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Oligometra carpenteri

©Lyle Vail: Oligometra carpenteri at about 13 metres in the lagoon entrance. Note the short pinnules apressed to the arms.

©Lyle Vail: Close-up of the main photo. Note proximal pinnules (dark in this specimen) with short, broad segments.

©Anne Hoggett: Oligometra carpenteri showing distinctive posture and oral pinnules at base of reef slope between Bird and South Islands, Lizard Island Group.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Echinodermata
Class Crinoidea
Order Comatulida
Family Colobometridae
Genus Oligometra
Species Oligometra carpenteri



Distinguishing features

A flexible crinoid with only ten arms, rarely exceeding 40 mm in length. During the day, pinnules on opposite sides of each arm are pressed against each other, and adjacent arms are also often apressed. A good ring of cirri used for clinging to narrow objects. Middle and distal cirrus segments have a pair of spines on each segment, one on each side of the midline, which may be joined to form a transverse bar. Proximal pinnules have very short, broad segments. Brown and white banded or mottled.


  • 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

This species is rarely found in water shallower than 10 metres at Lizard Island. It is quite common in water deeper than about 20 metres, especially near North Point and South Island, where they are found clinging to gorgonians. Messing et al. (2006) record Oligometra carpenteri as part of an unusual soft-bottom fauna in 12 to 17 m depth off Osprey Island, where they cling to the alga Halimeda.

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.

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.
  • Vail, L.L. (1988). Distribution patterns and population structure of Oligometra serripinna (Echinodermata: Crinoidea) at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, "Proceedings of the Sixth International Echinoderm Conference".Victoria, : 457-466. LIRS catalog number 295.
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