Mystery sea star - Second Photo Added


As you can see, the first photo is a quick snapshot without flash and the second is with a red filter, so the khahi-colored body doesn't show. Found this single specimen at 75 fsw at Hot Springs dive site on Saba. It attracted our attention because of the wavy, radial ridges. Does anyone know what it is?


Deb Bollag

Hi - I'm not sure what it

Hi - I'm not sure what it is, but I've got a couple divemaster friends on Saba who might know.

I'll ask 'em for you and get back to you! Another great place to try for critter idea is on It's a really big forum with some really knowledgeable divers.



Thanks. I checked Scubaboard

Thanks. I checked Scubaboard & other internet sites as well as the Reef Creature book, 2nd edition. I appreciate your asking friends in Saba. I haven't forwarded this to the Saba Marine Park -- thought a REEFer would know it!

Deb, just heard back from

Deb, just heard back from my DM friend Marie, and it sounds like that's who you went diving with! LOL. Well, it's a small island. She thinks maybe it's from the banks and was lost.

Any luck on scubaboard?

Too Funny!

You have it right -- I asked her, too! Saba Divers' DMs will check the site -- they'd like to study the star & get a better photo. We've piqued their interest... No ID from anyone yet. Thanks!

I was recently referred to

I was recently referred to Dr. Chirs Pomory. who sent back the response below. The dive site is a course
sand slope into the deep, which fits the parameter for an accidental sighting, but as stated, this is a best-educated-guess. Friends in Saba are looking for it and will try for better photos. I know that sightings are rare. Does anyone know where to locate example photos of this species?

"I took a look at the photos and sent them to another colleague who
also works on echinoderms and we are both of the same opinion. It is
probably the species Tethyaster vestitus. Keep in mind trying to ID
inverts from pictures is notoriously difficult, especially with only
one view, so this is a guess, educated, but still a guess. Without a
specimen in hand to look at close up on both sides there is no way to
be sure. It is definitely not a common shallow-water species, which is
why few people would recognize it. Tethyaster is typically found in
deeper water, starting in about 150 feet, but there are a few reports
of it occasionally straying into shallower depths. Was there a course
sand bank in about 150-200 feet of water near the dive site? That would
be the most probable source. I'm afraid that is the best I can do with
one photo."

Christopher Pomory Ph.D.
Department of Biology
University of West Florida

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