PORT PHILLIP BAY


Brittle Star 

Ophiothrix caespitosa Lyman, 1879

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

See below for information.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Echinodermata
Class:
Ophiuroidea
Order:
Ophiurida
Family:
Ophiotrichidae
Genus:
Ophiothrix
Subgenus:
Ophiothrix
Species:
caespitosa

General Description

Body bulbous, covered with short thorny spines including on the radial shields, arms spines long and serrated. Papillae restricted to the apex of the jaw. Colour pink with darker red patterning on the disc and arms. Disc up to 1 cm wide, arm up to 5 cm long.

Biology

This species releases eggs and sperm into the water from March to June, which become larvae with eight arms. These later settle and metamorphose into the adult five-armed brittle star. It is the most common brittle star on the continental shelf in Bass Strait.

Habitat

Under rocks, in crevices, usually associated with sponges, to depth of 180 m.

Reefs

Sponge gardens

Coastal shores

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

1 cm

Diet

Not known

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Species Code

MoV 665

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, Ophiothrix caespitosa, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 17 Aug 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/7780

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