PORT PHILLIP BAY


Brittle Star 

Ophiocentrus pilosa (Lyman, 1879)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

See below for information.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Echinodermata
Class:
Ophiuroidea
Order:
Ophiurida
Family:
Amphiuridae
Genus:
Ophiocentrus
Species:
pilosa

General Description

Body often yellow or green, arms pale, sometimes with a long purple stripe along the top of the arms, and banded near the arm tips. Disc puffy with minute spines over the surface. Paired plates on the disc near the arm bases (radial shields) are sunken. Arms with many spines (>10) along the sides of each segment. Arms long. Disc up to 2 cm wide, arm up to 15 cm long.

Biology

This animal is typically found with disc buried in the seafloor and 2-4 arms poking out of holes into the current. It feeds by extending its mucus covered tube feet perpendicular to the arm; these extended tube feet are much longer than the arm spines and can catch plankton as it passes by.

Habitat

In soft sediment, including sandy channel banks with strong tidal movement, to depths of 300 m.

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

Southern and eastern 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

2 cm

Diet

Plankton or Particles

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Species Code

MoV 664

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, Ophiocentrus pilosa, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 23 Aug 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6608

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