PORT PHILLIP BAY


Brittle Star 

Amphiura elandiformis Clark, 1966

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

See below for information.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Echinodermata
Class:
Ophiuroidea
Order:
Ophiurida
Family:
Amphiuridae
Genus:
Amphiura
Subgenus:
Amphiura
Species:
elandiformis

General Description

Disc with scalloped outline, covered in plates, arms very long and sinuous. The two larger plates on the disc near the arm base (radial shields) are curved like an "elands horns". Up to five short arm spines, the second lowest with a flattened tip with 1-2 laterally directed thorns; two tentacle scales. Disc grey, arms light brown with faint banding near the tips. Disc up to 9 mm diameter, arms to 20 times that length.

Biology

This species is usually found buried in sediment with 2-4 arms extended out of holes into the water. It readily casts off the dorsal disc surface (and stomach and gonads) if disturbed, possibly to confuse predators; it can regenerate these from the skeleton around the mouth.

Habitat

In mud and soft sand, from 2 to 100 m.

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

South-eastern Australia, including western and central Victoria.

Species Group

Seastars and allies Brittle stars

Depth

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

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

1 cm

Diet

Plankton or Particles

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Species Code

MoV 660

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, Brittle Star, Amphiura elandiformis, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 18 Aug 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6601

Text: creative commons cc by licence