Common Brittle Star Ophiothrix fragilis

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Bristle stars are mainly scavengers

Colour extremely variable - Brown Shades with tinges of red and purple.ranging from violet, purple or red to yellowish or pale grey, often spotted with red. The limbs are edged by spines.

The central disc is almost pentagonal in shape. ,The arms are usually white or grey with pink bands. The central disc is about one centimetre in diameter with the five arms being about five times as long. The disc is clothed in five rays of spines radiating from a spiny centre. Between these are five pairs of triangular plates, each pair forming a heart shaped pattern. The slender tapering arms are quite distinct from the disc and are covered with overlapping scales. The dorsal arm plates are naked and have a longitudinal keel. Each arm segment bears seven glassy, toothed spines. The arms are extremely fragile and easily shed, coming away either whole or in pieces

Ophiura texturata

A burrowing Brittle Star

Ophiocomina nigra

Colour varies from dark brown to black and has small spines, giving it a velvety appearance.


 "Ophiothrix-fragilis 4338" by Bernard Picton - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.