Caught and Coloured: Zoology Illustrations from Colonial Victoria




Common Sea Star, Meridiastra calcar, Small Sea Star, Patiriella gunnii and Greater Biscuit Star, Tosia magnifica

Image Details
  • Plate Number: 200
  • Media: Lithographic print - lithographic ink on paper
  • Lithographer: John James Wild
  • Artist: John James Wild
  • Location: Australia, Victoria, Brighton Beach
  • Primary inscriptions: [Figure Numbers] / Pl 200 / Proof 13/10/86
Transcript from the Prodromus of Zoology

Plate 200, Figure 1. The Eight-rayed Cushion Starfish, Asterina calcar (now known as the Common Sea Star, Patiriella calcar), found at Brighton Beach

This is the commonest of all the Starfishes on the coast; adhering to stones below low-water mark. It is extremely variable in the extent and intensity of the purple on upper surface. The whitish central patch in the specimen figured is very unusual. It is easily distinguished from the almost equally common A. Gunni, by having eight longer and more parallel-sided rays, and by having a single spine on each of the interambulacral plates between the ambulacra below.

Some specimens are of the rare diameter from tip to tip, of three and a half inches; and one specimen has only seven rays. On some specimens some of the plates of the row of adambulacral plates bordering the ambulacra seem to have only one spine, instead of the usual two; this is however abnormal, and two spines to each base is nearly constant.

The specimen figured is from Brighton Beach.

Plate 200, Figure 3. The Twelve-plated Shield-Star, Pentagonaster aurata (now known as the Greater Biscuit Star, Tosia magnifica), found at Hobson's Bay

The Shield-Stars, as the flattened pentagonal Starfishes with large marginal plates and no projecting rays are called, are common on our shores, two species of the present genus being abundant under stones a little below low-water mark in Hobson's Bay, and along the rocky outer shores.