Goniaster tessellatus
Family Goniasteridae

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Abundance: common Distribution: mid-shelf (40m)

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Dorsal (left) and ventral views: The length from arm tip to the mouth is ~3.5 cm.
This ornate bat-star has conical spines of varying colors (left) in a distinctive flower-like pattern.


Left: Spines are of various heights, with those on the marginal plates being rounded.
Dotted coloration is unusually detailed.
Right: Delicate tube feet are concentrated around the oral plate on the arm tips.
These appear to serve as sensory features.

Left: Ambulacral grooves are fringed by short, flat spines. The interradial plates have a mosaic-like pattern.
Right: the 5-pointed radial, or pentameral symmetry is empahsized by the coloration and ornamentation.

A detail of the mouth region shows the white tube feet (with prominent suckers)
within each ambulacral groove. White, flat, and stubby ambulacral spines fringe
each groove. The five jaws are covered with short, flattened spines.

While in an aquarium, this specimen consumed a piece of
clam. The stomach tissues are shown as pale brown flaps that
have wrapped around the food. Later, the stomach was
reabsorbed into the gut to digest the meal.