FEATURED OKINAWAN MARINE INVERTEBRATE
Thromidia catalai Pope & Rowe, 1977 (from 120ft, photo only, size not recorded)
Featured Okinawan Marine Invertebrate Data
Frequency on Okinawa:
Collection /Photo Data:
- Phylum: Echinodermata
- Class>: Asteroidea
- Order: Valvatida
- Family: Mithrodiidae
[brackets indicate range for all Okinawa-collected / photographed specimens of the species]
- Individual Collection No: Photo only
- Location: Seragaki, Okinawa (26o 30.4'N, 127o 52.6'E)
- Date: 20 January, 1991 [only one specimen collected: 03 Aug '2000, 6 others w/ photos only: 21 Nov '80, 22 Aug '87, 04 Aug '88, 20 Jan '91, 15 Nov '92, 05 Aug '00]
- Depth: 120ft (38m) [120ft, 130ft, 140ft, 140ft, 175ft, 190ft]
- Water temperature at collection depth: Not recorded
- Size: Not recorded
- Specimen deposited: Photo only, without specimen
- Photo Data: Kodachrome / Nikon 801s w/105mm Nikon lens (1:1.8 @ f/5.6) mounted in a Tussey housing / and two Oceanic strobes (225 & 300)
Thromidia catalai is considered to be rare on Okinawa as I have collected and photographed only a single specimen and photographed an additional five individuals between the years 1980~2000. I've seen, but neither collected nor photographed, perhaps 2~3 other individuals. The above featured animal was found crawling in a mixed sand/coral rubble environment in 120 ft. I've also added a second page with a series of additional images of the species.
There are some excellent photographs of Thromidia catalai on several on-line sites, one of these is Wikimedia Commons
Picture of the Year (2013), from Papua New Guinea.
In terms of size/weight, T. catalai ranks as one of the largest living species of asteroids and Chris Mah mentions in his Echinoblog site:
These are usually MASSIVE starfish. They can get up to 2 feet across! They tend to occur in deeper water (lower end of SCUBA depth). They have relatively solid surfaces with spiny surfaces. There is relatively little known about their general biology.
If you have any interest in this group of invertebrates (echinoderms) be sure to visit Chris Mah's Echinoblog site. Lots of information and great photos.
- Pope & Rowe (1977) chose the specific name in honor of Mme. Stucki and Dr. René Catala of the Aquarium of Nouméa who sorted the collection of the Nouméa specimens and also kept Thromidia alive in their Aquarium making notes and observations on its behaviour.
- Mah, Christopher. The Echinoblog at: https://echinoblog.blogspot.com/.
- Pope, E.C. & F.W.E. Rowe. (1977). A new genus and two new species in the family Mithrodiidae (Echindoermata: Asteroidea) with comments on the status of species of Mithrodia Gray, 1840. Australian Zoology 19(2): 201-216.
- Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository at: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Picture_of_the_Year/2013/R1/v/Thromidia_catalai_Heavy_Starfish_PNG_by_Nick_Hobgood.jpg.
Page Date: 01 Mar '17
Page Modification Date: 01 Mar '17
Digitally manipulated photo
Copyright © 2017 Robert F. Bolland