Ophiothrix fragilis
Common brittlestar

Ophiothrix fragilis
Ophiothrix fragilis brittlestar bed.
Image width ca XX cm.
Image: Keith Hiscock

Phylum Echinodermata
Class Ophiuroidea
Habitat Information
Found from the lower shore to circalittoral offshore habitats on hard substrata including bedrock, boulders and on coarse sediment. Most abundant on tideswept rock and on mixed coarse sediments. In the intertidal the species is found in crevices and under boulders.
Species description
A large brittlestar whose disk may reach up to 2 cm in diameter. The five arms are long (about five times the disk diameter) and spiny. The upper disk surface has a 5-rayed pattern of spines. This species is very varied in colour, commonly brown or grey but ranging through purple, red, orange, yellow, and white. Colouration may be plain or banded (particularly on the arms). The arms are fragile and often broken.
PMF archive information
Species name is listed in the PMF at the following locations:
>Rame-Eddystone or Middle Grounds
Shores of Salcombe Harbour
The Salstone

Links to the MarLIN Biology and Sensitivity Key-information pages

Basic Information

Taxonomy &
General Biology Habitat Preference & Distribution Sensitivity & Recoverability Importance