Clypeaster australasiae

Australasian sand dollar
Clypeaster australasiae
Clypeaster australasiae, Kermadec Islands, New Zealand, Photo: Graham Edgar
Clypeaster australasiae
Clypeaster australasiae, Jervis Bay, NSW, Photo: Andrew Green
Clypeaster australasiae
Clypeaster australasiae, Ventral view. Jervis Bay, NSW, Photo: Andrew Green
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Clypeaster australasiae
Clypeaster australasiae
Clypeaster australasiae


Temperate Australasia


Cream to dark brown sand dollar with a slightly raised test and prominent petal-like markings. The surface is densely covered by numerous small spines and tubercles. The species can be locally abundant, but is not often seen because it generally remains buried under sand and prefers deep water.


Max Size: 15 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 16.4-23.7°C

Depth: 0-130m

Habitat Generalization Index: N/A

Also referred to as the SGI (Species Generalisation Index), this describes the habitat niche breadth of the species. Species with values less than 15 are found in a relatively narrow range of reef habitat types (specialists), while those over 25 may be found on most hard substrates within their range (generalists). Learn more here.

Conservation and Rarity

IUCN Status: Not Evaluated

Occurrence: Infrequent (3.0% of sites)

Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed

Abundance: Few (2 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.

Edit by: GJ Edgar. 2008. Australian Marine Life. New Holland, Sydney