Nectria ocellataOcellate seastar
All six species in the genus Nectria are restricted to southern Australia, and five of them are found in shallow water. Nectria ocellata is the most common seastar on many exposed reefs in Victoria and Tasmania, but in other states tends to be less common and occur in greater depths. Nectria species are best distinguished visually by the shape and arrangement of the granule-covered cylindrical structures on the central upper body, called 'tabulae'.
In Nectria ocellata, the tabulae have a flat to slightly convex upper surface and are separated by gaps in the central body region, and gradually decrease in size towards the ends of the arms. The appearance can be quite variable however, and some authorities recognise three distinct 'forms' of Nectria ocellata.
Nectria ocellata is the only species found north of Eden, NSW.
Sessile invertebrates such as sponges and ascidians are the main food of this seastar.
Max Size: 26 cm
Sea Temperature Range: 10.8-21.4°C
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: Common (34.0% 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