Elegant feather star

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elegant feather star
Myzostoma fuscomaculatum at Percys Hole detail.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Echinodermata
Class: Crinoidea
Subclass: Articulata
Order: Comatulida
Suborder: Comatulidina
Superfamily: Tropiometroidea
Family: Tropiometridae
Genus: Tropiometra
Species: T. carinata
Binomial name
Tropiometra carinata
(Lamarck, 1816)

The elegant feather star (Tropiometra carinata) is a species of crinoid in the family Tropiometridae.[1]


The cirri of the elegant feather star

Elegant feather stars may grow to 20 cm in total length. They are variably coloured in yellow to brown and are occasionally variegated in yellow and brown. They have ten long arms with ciliated side branches that taper to a point. They have 20-30 cirri.[2]


These animals are found off the South African coast from the Cape Peninsula to Mozambique as well as circumtropically. They are seen subtidally and down to at least 51m underwater.[2]


Elegant feather stars are usually found singly on shallow reefs and are more abundant on deeper reefs. If displaced they may swim using their arms. Commensal organisms such as the myzostomid worm Myzostoma fuscomaculatum (shown in main image)and the crinoid shrimp Hippolyte catagrapha are found on the specimens found in False Bay.[2]


According to the World Register of Marine Species, the following species are synonyms of Tropiometra carinata:[1]

  • Antedon brasiliensis Carpenter, 1879
  • Antedon capensis Bell, 1905
  • Antedon carinata (Lamarck, 1816)
  • Comatula carinata Lamarck, 1816 (basionym)
  • Comatula picta Gay, 1854
  • Tropiometra audouini AH Clark, 1911
  • Tropiometra carinata audouini (AH Clark, 1911)
  • Tropiometra carinata carinata (Lamarck, 1816)
  • Tropiometra carinata clarki (Gislén, 1938)
  • Tropiometra carinata indica (AH Clark, 1912)
  • Tropiometra clarki Gislén, 1938
  • Tropiometra encrinus AH Clark, 1911
  • Tropiometra indica AH Clark, 1912
  • Tropiometra picta (Gay, 1854)


  1. ^ a b http://marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=213331 accessed 17 September 2013
  2. ^ a b c Branch, G.M., Branch, M.L, Griffiths, C.L. and Beckley, L.E. 2010. Two Oceans: a guide to the marine life of southern Africa ISBN 978-1-77007-772-0