Reticulated Brittle Star (Ophionereis reticulata)

…a species of ophionereidid brittle star that inhabits the shallow waters of the Western Atlantic, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. Like other brittle stars O. reticulata is a herbivore and filter feeder, feeding mainly on red/green algae and diatoms. These food items are caught by the star raising its arms into the water current (while keeping its disc concealed) and catching passing ‘prey’. Unlike other brittle stars O. reticulata uses its tube feet in locomotion. Its tube feet are long and pointed and when in movement are raised from the sea bed allowing the star to move at speeds of 50 cm per minute.


Animalia-Echinodermata-Ophiuroidea-Ophiurida-Ophiurina-Ophionereididae-Ophionereis-O. reticulata

Images: Larry Zetwoch and Rommel Notini

Green brittle star / オオクモヒトデ

Ophiarachna incrassata

Green brittle star
This brittle star is greenish black, but there is also a red one.


Animalia Echinodermata Ophiuroidea Ophiurida Ophiodermatidae
動物界 棘皮動物門 クモヒトデ綱 クモヒトデ目 アワハダクモヒトデ科

The picture was taken at Sunshine Aquarium, Tokyo, Japan.

Serpent Star (Ophiura ophiura)

…a species of Ophiurid brittle star which occurs in the north east Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea from Norway and Sweden south to Madeira and the Mediterranean Sea. Where they will inhabit the neritic zone down to a depth of ~200 meters. Serpent stars can be fairly active as far as brittle stars go, moving around with jerky swimming actions of its legs, and even burrowing occasionally. They are both filter feeds and bottom-feeding carnivores/detritivores feeding on a very wide range of food. 


Animalia-Echinodermata-Asterozoa-Ophiuroidea-Ophiurida-Ophiuridae-Ophiura-O. ophiura

Image: Lamiot


"Brooding Snake Star" (Amphipholis squamata)

Also known as the Dwarf Brittle Star, the brooding snake star is a species of Amphiurid brittle star which boasts a cosmopolitan distribution on temperate and warm temperate waters. Like other brittle stars brooding snake stars are mainly found under stones and shells, and occasionally sand bottoms, where they will feed on a variety of small invertebrates. 


Animallia-Echinodermata-Eleutherozoa-Ophiuroidea-Ophiurida-Gnathophiurina-Amphiuridae-Amphipholis-A. squamata

Images: Arnold, Augusta Foote and Mark Blaxter

Ophiocoma scolopendrina

…a species of Ophiocomid brittle star which occurs in the waters around the Red Sea, Eastern Africa, and Madagascar. O. scolopendrina are typically present in crevices and under boulders of intertidal reef platforms where they will feed on a the wide variety of small marine invertebrates which are also present there. 


Animalia-Echinodermata-Ophiuroidea-Ophiurida-Chilophiurina-Ophiocomidae-Ophiocoma-O. scolopendrina

Image: Hectonichus

Ophiomyxa australis / キヌハダクモヒトデ

Ophiomyxa australis

Ophiomyxa australis


Animalia Echinodermata Ophiuroidea Ophiurida Ophiomyxidae
動物界 棘皮動物門 クモヒトデ綱 クモヒトデ目 キヌハダクモヒトデ科

The photo taken at Tokyo Sea Life Park, Japan

Ophiarachnella gorgonia / トウメクモヒトデ


Ophiarachnella gorgonia

In Japanese, this brittle star has a name which means “ten eyes brittle star” because it has two tiny round marks at the base of each arm.


Animalia Echinodermata Ophiuroidea Ophiurida Ophiodermatidae
動物界 棘皮動物門 クモヒトデ綱 クモヒトデ目 アワハダクモヒトデ科

Photo taken at Toba Aquarium, Japan