PORT PHILLIP BAY


Brittle Star 

Ophiomyxa australis Lütken, 1869

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

See below for information.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Echinodermata
Class:
Ophiuroidea
Order:
Ophiurida
Family:
Ophiomyxidae
Genus:
Ophiomyxa
Species:
australis

General Description

Body covered in skin, up to 6 thorny arm spines on the sides of each segment. Jaws bordered with flat serrated papillae. Tube feet not protected by tentacle scales. Colour patterns varies, including green, orange or red, and often with mottled pattern. Disc up to 4 cm wide, arms up to 14 cm long.

Biology

These brittle stars are thought to feed on small crustaceans and algae. Deeper historical records of occurrence are probably mis-identifications of other species.

Habitat

Under rocks or in crevices on reefs or under sponges on soft sediments, to depths of 250 m.

Reefs

Distribution guide

Indian and Pacific Oceans, from eastern Africa to Moorea and Tasmania north to Japan.

Species Group

Seastars and allies Brittle stars

Depth

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

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

4 cm

Diet

Omnivore

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Species Code

MoV 2549

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, Ophiomyxa australis, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 23 Oct 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/7782

Text: creative commons cc by licence