Family Ophidiasteridae – Nardoa pauciforis (von Martens,1866)
described as: Linckia pauciforis, Arch.f.Naturgesch.,vol.32,pt.1,p.69.
Genus altered by: Sladen, 1889.”Challenger”Ast., p.412.
This starfish is slightly less common than the previous species but is not hard to find on the reef. It occurs more commonly on the reef flat than on the reef crest but it can be overlooked in this habitat as both these species blend well with the background of living and dead coral, and algae. The animals are most conspicuous when crawling over the sand between coral clumps. The average individual size of this species is slightly larger than in Nardoa novaecaledoniae, being 105mm arm radius. The arms are usually longer relative to the body in this species but the diagnostic feature is the absence of an abrupt change in the size of the plates towards the outer one-third of the arms.
At the southern end of the reef this species is reproductively mature earlier in the summer than is the previous species. Eggs are released in November or early December, and at this time Nardoa novaecaledoniae is not capable of releasing eggs and sperm. Although both species look similar they are not capable of interbreeding, at least over part of their geographic range.
Size Distribution over study period –Nardoa pauciforis
Major Radius / Minor Radius Distribution – Nardoa pauciforis