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Echinoderms from Southern New Zealand

Family Asteriidae — Sclerasterias Perrier, emend. Fisher, 1924

page 12

Family Asteriidae
Sclerasterias Perrier, emend. Fisher, 1924

Sclerasterias mollis (Hutton, 1872)

  • Station NGH 3, one small individual.
  • Otago Harbour. November, 1951; coll. E. Batham; one specimen.
  • Ten miles south of Cape Campbell, mud bottom, 40 to 50 fathoms, March. 1947; coll. F. Abernethy; 10 specimens.

The species is abundant at Cape Campbell, and the hundred specimens taken there comprise only a representative sample of what came up in the trawl of the Phyllis. Of the hundred. 99 were five-armed, one alone six-armed. Two only showed regenerating arms, one of them in the so-called "sea-comet" condition. The colour in life is a bright brick-red, marked by longitudinal yellowish bands which correspond in position to the longitudinal rows of spines. The largest specimen has R, 120 mm.; r, 18 mm. The majority have arms exceeding 10 mm. in length. This is the only large Asterias-like starfish of New Zealand to have five arms. As the specific name indicates, it is very fragile, owing to weak regions of the body-wall where the arms enter the small disc.

Coscinosterias Verrill 1867

Coscinasterias calamaria (Gray, 1840)

  • Alert stations: 2, one specimen; 6, one specimen.
  • Off east Otago coast, 40 fathoms, two specimens.

The common eleven-armed starfish.

Allostichaster Verrill, 1914

Allostichaster insignis (Farquhar, 1895)

  • Alert stations: 23, fourteen specimens; 25, one specimen.

The widely-distributed, six-armed, fissiparous starfish of New Zealand. As it has already been recorded from Wellington, the Snares Islands, and Auckland Islands, its presence in the Fiords was to be expected. There, however, it was found only in Dusky Sound.