Needle-Spined Brittle Stars

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Ophiothrix spp. - Müller and Troschel, 1840
Needle-Spined Brittle Stars

These long-spined stars are difficult to keep alive in the home aquarium. Scott W. Michael

[edit] Overview

These brittle stars have moderately sized central discs and long arms that bear lateral rows of long, needle-like spines. Tend to be solid black, violet or gray; some have armbands of contrasting colors.

In the wild, they are found living on the surfaces of large sponges; may be getting food from the surface of the sponge or may be filtering in their own right or grazing on the sponge.

Family: Ophiothricidae

Other common name(s):

Native range:

Maximum length: 30 cm (12 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 190 L (50 gal)

Lighting: Immaterial.

Water: Marine 24 °C (297 K, 75 °F) - 28 °C (301 K, 82 °F)

[edit] Feeding

Symbiotic or commensal with large sponges or other large suspension feeders. Natural diets are unknown. They generally live a few weeks to a few months and then start to die from the arm tips in toward the disc, a pattern typical of malnutrition.

[edit] Aquarium Compatibility

Poor survival rate in captivity, presumably due to inappropriate substrate and food.

[edit] Notes

These brittle stars do not seem to require a hiding space and often seem to remain exposed for long periods, probably the result of having totally inappropriate habitats in captivity.

Reference: A PocketExpert Guide to Marine Invertebrates
Image credit: SWM
Text credit: RLS
Facts about Needle-Spined Brittle StarsRDF feed
Common name Needle-Spined Brittle Stars  +
Family Ophiothricidae  +
Genus Ophiothrix  +
Image credit SWM  +
Lighting Immaterial.  +
Maximum length 12 in  +
Minimum aquarium size 50 gal  +
Native range Tropical Seas  +
Reference A PocketExpert Guide to Marine Invertebrates  +
Specific name spp.  +
Text credit RLS  +
Water max temp 301 K (28 °C, 82 °F)  +
Water min temp 297 K (24 °C, 75 °F)  +
Water type Marine  +