PORT PHILLIP BAY


Brittle Star 

Ophiacantha alternata Clark, 1966

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

See below for information.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Echinodermata
Class:
Ophiuroidea
Order:
Ophiurida
Family:
Ophiacanthidae
Genus:
Ophiacantha
Species:
alternata

General Description

Small species with minute stumps on the disc, taller near the margin. The arm spines alternate, with taller upper spines (looking like "goal posts") on every second arm segment. Colour usually light to dark mottled brown. Disc up to 4 mm wide, arm up to 1 cm long.

Biology

The feeding behaviour and favoured prey are unknown.

Habitat

Occurs on red algae, bryozoans or sponges, from intertidal rock pools to the outer continental shelf (1-150 m).

Reefs

Distribution guide

Southern Australia.

Species Group

Seastars and allies Brittle stars

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

4 mm

Diet

Not known

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Species Code

MoV 659

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, Ophiacantha alternata, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 18 Nov 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6604

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