Noble Featherstar

Comanthina nobilis

The Noble Featherstar belongs to a group of starfish known as crinoids. It has about 100 arms, each 60-70 mm long, and varies in colour from yellow to green with arms cream or white fading to yellow-brown at their ends. It prefers coral or rubble areas where it is found exposed during the day, holding on to the reef with its shorter arms while waving the longer arms about to capture food from the plankton rich currents. The small food particles are caught and then transported along the food grooves located on the inside of the arms towards the central mouth. In some places these feather stars can be seen congregating in groups, sitting on sea whips and sea fans (gorgonians), feeding en masse in the strong currents.

Widely dispersed in the tropical Indo-West Pacific, from Sri Lanka to New Caledonia, including tropical Australia.

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