New Zealand Cushion Star (Stegnaster inflatus)

Also sometimes known as the “Ambush Starfish”, the New Zealand cushion star is a species of Asterinid sea star which is endemic to the waters around New Zealand. New Zealand cushion stars are active predators, with individuals raising themselves on the edges of their five arms and ambushing any potential prey item that happens to swim under it. 


Animalia-Echinodermata-Asteroidea-Valvitida-Asterinidae-Stegnaster-S. inflatus

Image: Avenue

Aquilonastra conandae

…is a very small (< 2cm) species of Asterinid starfish which was first discovered at Reunion Island, and was then later identified across the Mascarene Islands. Aquilonastra conandae individuals often have around seven or eight arms, which are often irregular in length.  This is most likely due to regeneration.


Animalia-Echinodermata-Asteoidea-Valvatida-Asterinidae-Aquilonastra-A. conandae

Image: Nicole Gravier-Bonnet