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Ophiothrix fragilis (Abildgaard in O.F. Müller, 1789)

Common brittlestar

Ophiothrix fragilis

Ria d’Etel, France, 12 meters, 2007, WBN

Ophiothrix fragilis

Glenan Archipelago, France, 4 meters, 2010, WBN

Description

Ophiothrix fragilis is a brittlestar reaching a diameter of up to 16 cm. The central disc has a diameter of about 2 cm and the five thick arms are around 7 cm long. The arms are densely covered by numerous spines. The colour is variable: pink, red, beige, brown, sometimes uniformedly coloured, sometimes multicoloured. Common brittle stars use to draw up their arms to catch food particles brought by water movements. These particles are convey into the mouth by means of numerous tube-feet scattered along the arms. These may frequently be seen emerging from seaweeds, sponges, rocks or sandy wrecks where common brittle stars find current-swept hiding places and where they may live in dense groups.

Distribution

Ophiothrix fragilis is found from surface to depths down to 500 m, in the Atlantic Ocean, the English channel, the North Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

Image satellite: © Esri, DigitalGlobe, GeoEye, Earthstar Geographics, CNES/Airbus DS, USDA, USGS, AeroGRID, IGN, and the GIS User Community.

Données de distribution : Ophiothrix fragilis (Abildgaard in O.F. Müller, 1789) in GBIF Secretariat (2019). GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist dataset https://doi.org/10.15468/39omei accessed via GBIF.org on 2020-09-25.

Classification

Source : World Register of Marine Species


Biota (Superdomain)
Animalia (Kingdom)
Echinodermata (Phylum)
Asterozoa (Subphylum)
Ophiuroidea (Class)
Myophiuroidea (Subclass)
Metophiurida (Infraclass)
Ophintegrida (Superorder)
Amphilepidida (Order)
Gnathophiurina (Suborder)
Ophiactoidea (Superfamily)
Ophiotrichidae (Family)
Ophiothrix (Genus)
Ophiothrix fragilis (Species)

Page glossary

Tube foot : tube-shaped element ending by a sucker-disc used to attach to subtratum or to bring food particles into the mouth.

Authors

Text : Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2005 - 2020.

Photos : © Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat. Published with his kind permission.
Websites and reference works : Consult bibliography

Image satellite: © Esri, DigitalGlobe, GeoEye, Earthstar Geographics, CNES/Airbus DS, USDA, USGS, AeroGRID, IGN, and the GIS User Community.

Données de distribution : Ophiothrix fragilis (Abildgaard in O.F. Müller, 1789) in GBIF Secretariat (2019). GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist dataset https://doi.org/10.15468/39omei accessed via GBIF.org on 2020-09-25.

How to cite this page

Bay-Nouailhat A., September 2005, Description of Ophiothrix fragilis, [On line] http://european-marine-life.org/30/ophiothrix-fragilis.php, consulted on 2020 September 25.

Author

Photographie de Anne Bay-Nouailhat

Anne Bay-Nouailhat

Project manager in marine environment
Professional diver - Naturalist

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