This species has been recorded at a few localities along the Great Barrier Reef, and also in Indonesia as well as in the South Pacific. When alive, the animal is covered by a relatively thick skin which conceals the underlying plates. Many of these plates bear some very short rounded spines but it is not possible to discern the diagnostic characters of this species unless the specimen is preserved and then dried.
At Heron Reef at the southern end of The Great Barrier Reef, this is the most abundant starfish found on the top of the reef. It lives amongst the broken coral rubble on the innermost portion of the reef crest. The average size of specimens is 15 mm arm radius, but this size varies with periods of growth and with recruitment of juveniles to the population.
Size Distribution over study period –Disasterina abnormalis
Major Radius / Minor Radius Distribution –Disasterina abnormalis