Giant Basket Star
Astrophyton muricatum
To 55 cm from arm tip to arm tip (some reports to 95cm).

Easily recognized, because the
arms are many branched. Color varies from dark brown to light yellowish brown. It has a central disc and eight slender, flexible arms that repeatedly divide to form a fine-meshed net-like structure.
At night, the arms are unfolded and the animal uses this net to catch plankton. During the day, the animal will curl up. When it is attached to sea feathers or sea whips, they form a tight knot not unlike a flower bud.

Inhabits reefs clinging to sea feathers or sea whips, or hides in recesses. Nocturnal and spends the day in a hiding place, climbing at night to a feding position and extending its arms....Typical perches are on the top of large corals or the top of gorgonians, and it uses the lower parts of the arms to hold itself in place.   It is found at depths from 2 to 30 m (6-98 ft). Although it is usually found on coral reefs, it also occurs on the top of boulders or in seagrass meadows.
The shrimp Periclimenes perryae often lives in association with the giant basket star, and larger individuals are usually coloured to match the colour of the basket star

    Ecological Descriptors
Habitat Size (cm) Diet Behaviour Sex 
Co (R, S) 55 Pla, Noct I F
Giant Basket Star
Great Basket Star
Giant Basket Star
(C) Blogie Robillo