Echinaster varicolor

Multi-coloured seastar
Echinaster varicolor
Echinaster varicolor, Albany, WA, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Echinaster varicolor
Echinaster varicolor, Photo: Graham Edgar
Echinaster varicolor
Echinaster varicolor0
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Echinaster varicolor
Echinaster varicolor
Echinaster varicolor


Temperate Australasia


One of the largest and most colourful species found along the southern Western Australian coast. It has long arms, a reddish brown colour and black spots regularly arranged over the upper surface, although the base colour and size and density of the spots are highly variable. The species is occasionally seen by divers but is not common.


Max Size: 22 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 16.1-23.1°C

Depth: 1-50m

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 (1.7% 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: Solitary (1 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