Brittle star (Ophiuroidea)
Serpent Stars and Basket stars
The arms of brittle stars can be as wide as 60 cm.
Brittle Star Identification
The bodies of brittle stars are flat, circular and disc-shaped. They have five or more arms on which small spines grow, making them appear hairy. Their mouth is located ventrally and they have no anus on top. Brittle stars vary in colour from red to brown, black, olive, white, or orang
Brittle Star General Info
Brittle stars are a part of the Ophiuroidea class which falls under the Echinodermata phylum. This phylum includes the feather star and sea star, sea urchins and sea cucumbers. They use their arms for movement but they are very breakable, giving the brittle star its name. Their arms can be regenerated, however. They are pelagic spawners, and certain species brood their young inside their bodies.
Brittle Star Feeding
Brittle stars are scavengers, feeding on detritus, worms and small crustaceans.
Brittle stars can be found in temperate and tropical oceans across the world.
Brittle star - Ophiarachna affinis
basket star - Ophiothrix purpurea
© Johan Boshoff