PORT PHILLIP BAY


Banded Brittle Star 

Ophionereis schayeri (Müller & Troschel, 1844)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

See below for information.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Echinodermata
Class:
Ophiuroidea
Order:
Ophiurida
Family:
Ophionereididae
Genus:
Ophionereis
Species:
schayeri

General Description

Disc covered with minute scales, arms with 4 small blunt arm spines on each side, one large oval tentacle scale protecting each tube foot. The plates along the dorsal side of the arm are in three pieces. Body grey to cream with wide dark stripes around arms. Disc up to 2.5 cm wide, arms up to 15 cm long.

Biology

Banded Brittle Stars can drop off the ends of their arms, like lizards drop off their tails. These arm pieces have a green luminescent glow, thought to act as a decoy for predators to follow at night. They are often associated with a scale worm that mimics the colour of the brittle star.

Habitat

Rocky areas, on sand under flat rocks, to depth of 180 m.

Reefs

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

3 cm

Diet

Plankton or Particles

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Species Code

MoV 2551

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, Banded Brittle Star, Ophionereis schayeri, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 18 Aug 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/7784

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