Astroboa ernae

Of all the strange creatures that keep their own secret lives in the waters of Southern Australia, Erskin’s Basket Star is up there in the realm of ‘oh wow’!

As a starfish, and more specifically, a ‘brittle star’ they resemble some weird brain-like structure.

About the size of a pair of clenched fists they hide their true strangeness, a sight rarely seen, when at night and in strong currents they completely unfold that intricate structure in a vast feeding web.

I have never seen a basket star feeding. A logistically challenging night dive combining both strong currents and remote locations would be required. Something I am up for but not to be undertaken lightly.

On this dive off of Troubridge Point, Edithburgh we found three of the fascinating creatures, all bundled up and waiting for the cover of night.

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