Category of Organisms Echinoderms
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum/Division Echinodermata
Class Asteroidea
Order Spinulosida
Family Acanthasteridae
Genus Acanthaster
Species planci
Binomial Name
Acanthaster planci
Author Linnaeus, 1758
Common Name Crown of thorns starfish
Local Name Mahkota berduri
Size Range
One of the largest starfish species found in Malaysia coastal waters. Individuals can grow up to 50 cm in diameter and typically bear between 10 and 23 arms.
Is a common sea star in shallow water down to 30 m. The crown-of-thorn s is known to be predators of scleractinian corals. The adults feed exclusively on the coral polyps and can cause severe damage to reef if their numbers exceed on average of 150 individuals per ha. These sea star active at night and remain cacealed during the daytime.

Endemic No
Found in Marine Park Yes
Found in Malaysia Yes
Recorded from Pulau Aur, Johore Archipelago, on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, and Terumbu Siput in the South China Sea.
The species has elongated spines on its rays and body. These spines, which can penetrate gloves, wetsuits, and boots, are venomous and contact is extremely painful. The body and arms are grayish-blue and rust colored, while the tube feet have yellow suckers.

Matures at 2-3 years of age, and each female produce up to 100 million eggs in a single spawning season. the larvae drift and feed on microscopic algae before  settling on the bottom. For at least the first 6 months, the young starfish feed on coralline algae, but then they switch their attention to live coral, preferring branching species such as Acropora. it occurs widely in the Indo-pacific, and its ‘normal’ density is quite low. however, plagues sometimes occur, causing extensive coral martality.

Status in IUCN Red List Unknown
Status in CITES Species Database Unknown
1. Elizabeth Wood and Micheal Aw, REEF FISHES CORAL AND INVERTERBRATES OF Malaysia and The South China Sea, Published by New Holland Publishers (UK) Ltd, Page : 50
2. Zulfigar Yasin, Sim Yee Kwang, Aileen Tan Shau-Hwai, Yoshihisa Shirayama, Field Guide to the ECHINODERMS (SEA CUCUMBERS AND SEA STARS) of MALAYSIA, Published by Kyoto University Press, Page : 72

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Collection Record