species: Leiaster leachii in Lizard Island area: all known taxa (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Leiaster leachii

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

©Anne Hoggett: Upper surface of specimen above.
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. The deep burgundy colour and pointed arm tips of Leiaster speciosus distinguish it from the closely-related Leiaster leachi, which has not been recorded from Lizard Island.

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