PORT PHILLIP BAY


Basket Star 

Conocladus australis (Verrill, 1876)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

See below for information.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Echinodermata
Class:
Ophiuroidea
Order:
Euryalida
Family:
Gorgonocephalidae
Genus:
Conocladus
Species:
australis

General Description

The arms are branched several times; the disc covered in conical tubercles except in the (inter-radial) area between the bases of the arms which has a sunken groove. There are tiny arm spines on the ventro-lateral surface that start before the first arm branch. There are transverse series of small "girdle" hooks on the upper side of the arms. Colour usually pale grey to dark brown, sometimes with dark red-black spots or bands across the arms. Disc up to 6 cm wide, arm up to 15 cm long.

Biology

This species is the only shallow water basket-star (branched brittle-star) in Victoria. It extends some of its branched arms like a net into a current to feed on small plankton. The "girdle" hooks on the arms can be used to store food.

Habitat

Occurs on sea-whips, gorgonians and sponges, from subtidal depths to the upper continental slope (10-450 m).

Reefs

Distribution guide

Southern Australia.

Species Group

Seastars and allies Brittle stars

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

6 cm

Diet

Plankton or Particles

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Species Code

MoV 2000

Identify

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author O'Hara, T.

Dr. Tim O'Hara is a Senior Curator of marine invertebrates at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
O'Hara, T., 2011, Basket Star, Conocladus australis, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 25 Nov 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/3898

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