Featured Invertebrate Data
Thanks are due to Curt Fiedler at the University of Guam who kindly helped me in identifying Chirostylus stellaris, and also to Masayuki Osawa (Estuary Research Center, Shimane University, Japan) in providing his 2007 Chirostylus publication.
Chirostylus stellaris, a species of squat lobsters in the family Chirostylidae, is considered by myself to be very rare on Okinawa as I have seen and collected a total of only the single featured individual over a period of many years of diving in Okinawan waters. This rarity is based on my own observations, however, Yoshihisa Fujita (pers. comm. to Curt Fiedler) mentions that C. stellaris is not rare in Okinawa. The original holotype* specimen was collected off Shimoji Islet, Miyako-jima Island, Ryukyu Islands. A large series of paratypes* were collected off Okinawa Island, as well as other sites within the Ryukyu Islands. I neglected to measure the above featured specimen but Osawa's measurements (2007) of 15~30mm perhaps put the above featured animal within this size range.
There's a series of Chirostylus stellaris photos posted on-line (in Japanese) on the following sites:
Kiss 2 Sea Web
Okinawa Diving Blogspot
Incidentally, the vernacular Japanese name for Chirostylus stellaris is Hoshizora-waraebi (Osawa, 2007).
I've added the following information from Osawa (2007):
*Holotype & Paratypes: See "Type" Dictionary for explanation.
Coloration. Body and pereopods with ground color of reddish brown. Carapace with moderately narrow, white or pale blue line in large triangle bordered by dark brown, narrow lines; white line present along lateral margin; part between white and yellow lines and gastric and cardiac regions occasionally with irregular-sized, white marks. Abdominal tergites with dark brown and white or pale blue, narrow lines along anterior and posterior margins and with moderately broad, dark brown line bordered by white or pale blue, narrow lines along midline. Pterygostomial flaps with 2 narrow, longitudinal white stripes. P1 merus, carpus, and chela with longitudinal rows of small white spots of moderate intervals; carpus and chela also occasionally with longitudinal narrow, white or pale blue stripes. P2-4 meri and carpi each bearing longitudinal rows of small white spots on extensor margin (bases of spines) and lateral surface; propodi with scattered small white spots, distal part dark brown and yellow tinge; dactyli yellow.
Distribution. At the present, only known from the Ryukyu Islands, southwestern Japan; at depths of 14.9-30 m.
Habitat and ecology. Like C. ortmanni, C. stellaris, n. sp. is also found on soft and black corals (Alcyonacea and Antipatharia) as Chirostylus sp. This species is observed more frequently at night than during the day.
I've added a second page w/ images taken from Osawa's 2007 publication.