Spiny Brittle Stars

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Ophiactis spp. - Lütken, 1856
Spiny Brittle Stars

A valuable addition to a reef aquarium “cleanup” crew. Larry P. Tackett

[edit] Overview

These brittle stars need to be well nourished. In underfed tanks, they will not receive sufficient food, the arm tips will start to “erode,” and eventually they will starve to death.

They have a small central disc; the five arms look too big for the central disc. Arms have large, narrow, sharp spines on their sides. Typically gray, tan or mottled combinations of gray, tan, brown and black.

Family: Ophiactidae

Other common name(s):

Native range:

Maximum length: 15 cm (6 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

Beneficial scavengers on detritus; predatory on some bottom-dwelling animals.

[edit] Aquarium Compatibility

Good aquarium animals. May occasionally capture and eat an unwary or “sleeping” fish. Crustaceans may attack them.

[edit] Special Care

Need sufficient food or they will starve to death.

[edit] Notes

These brittle stars live under rocks during the day and forage at night. They often remain in a crevice or cave and collect food with their arms, which extend out over the aquarium surfaces.

Reference: A PocketExpert Guide to Marine Invertebrates
Image credit: LPT
Text credit: RLS
Facts about Spiny Brittle StarsRDF feed
Common name Spiny Brittle Stars  +
Family Ophiactidae  +
Genus Ophiactis  +
Image credit LPT  +
Lighting Immaterial.  +
Maximum length 6 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  +