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The cushion star, Hippasteria phrygiana, has the star-shaped body typical of starfish, with five equal length arms originating at a central disc. The lower surface of the central disc bears the mouth. A deep furrow runs from the mouth to the end of each arm. In each furrow are two rows of tube feet. Like similar starfish species, Hippasteria phrygiana, has prominent marginal plates and papulae on the upper surface only.Hippasteria phrygiana has moderately long arms, a broad, solid body and can reach up to 20 cm in diameter. It can be distinguished from similar species by having blunt, knob-like spines and white granules on the upper body plates. It is reddish-brown in colour.