Animal Species:Orange Feather Star

The Orange Feather Star is one of the largest and most conspicuous feather stars in southern Australia.

Orange Feather Star Cenolia trichoptera

Dr Isobel Bennett © Australian Museum

Standard Common Name

Orange Feather Star

Identification

The colour of the Orange Feather Star varies from orange through to brown, but can also be green, black or purple.

Size range

20 cm

Distribution

Orange Sea Stars are found from New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania.

Habitat

Orange Sea Stars live in coastal waters to a depth of 35 m.

Feeding and Diet

To feed, feather stars can have as many as 40 arms at any one time waving around catching small food particles, which are then wafted along the 'food grooves' to the mouth. Both the mouth and the tube feet are on the upper surface, which is the reverse of sea stars. Their sticky tube feet help them catch food and are also very important for absorbing oxygen.

Other behaviours and adaptations

Feather stars get their name from their long branched arms, which have a feathery appearance. They attach themselves to rocks or seaweed using sticky appendages underneath known as 'cirri'.

Classification

Species:
trichoptera
Genus:
Cenolia
Family:
Comasteridae
Order:
Comatulida
Class:
Crinoidea
Phylum:
Echinodermata
Kingdom:
Animalia

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Tags feather stars, starfish, echinoderms, invertebrates, wildlife of sydney, identification, marine,