species: Comanthus suavia in Lizard Island Field Guide (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Comanthus suavia

©Lyle Vail and Anne Hoggett: Comanthus suavia arms protruding from a crevice. The black and white colour pattern is consistent.

©Lyle Vail and Anne Hoggett: Pan shot of the underside of Comanthus suavia. The colour pattern and paucity of cirri is distinctive.

©Anne Hoggett: Disc and combed oral pinnules of Comanthus suavia from under rubble on the NE side of Lizard Island. The shrimp are Synalpheus stimpsonii.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Echinodermata
Class Crinoidea
Order Comatulida
Family Comatulidae
Genus Comanthus
Species Comanthus suavia



Distinguishing features

Comatulids are distinguised from all other featherstar families by having terminal segments of the oral pinnules modified to form a comb. The shape and distribution of combed pinnules is useful for distinguishing some species. They also have a distinctive "feel" due to well developed hooks on most pinnules that cause them to cling like velcro.

Comanthus suavia adults have 20 to 40 slender arms which are usually longer on one side of the animal than the other. Juveniles may have several cirri but cirri are absent in adults.

Colour pattern is distinctive across the size range: white brachials with dark articulations, although the white parts may have a pale blueish or greenish cast.


  • Size data has not been obtained.

Depth range

  • Depth range data is not yet available.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

Comanthus suavia is usually found with a few arms protruding from a crevice, similar to the living positions of Comanthus parvicirrus and Comanthus gisleni.

Comanthus suavia is very common throughout the Lizard Island Group, in the lagoon, on reef slopes and in the rubble zone at the base of the reef.

Web resources


References that assist with identification

  • Rowe, F.W.E., A.K. Hoggett, R.A. Birtles and L.L. Vail (1986). Revision of some comasterid general from Australia (Echinodermata: Crinoidea), with descriptions of two new genera and nine new species, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 86: 197-277. LIRS catalog number 198.
  • Summers, M. M., C.G. Messing and G.W. Rouse (2014). Phylogeny of Comatulidae (Echinodermata: Crinoidea: Comatulida): A new classification and an assessment of morphological characters for crinoid taxonomy, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 80: 319-339. LIRS catalog number 1813.