Schayer's Brittle Star Ophionereis schayeri
This is the largest common Brittlestar on Australia’s temperate shores. Distinguished by its light grey disc, with its long snakelike arms prominently banded with dark grey, light grey or white.
The upper surface is covered with extremely small overlapping scales which are larger near the disc edge. Under the disc, near the mouth, are small spinelets. The spines on the arms are relatively short.
Schayer's Brittle Star is usually grey, with dark rings around the long arms.
Ranges from Port Stephens (Birubi) New South Wales, around the southern shores of Australia to the Houtman Abrolhos in Western Australia, except the Tasmanian west coast.
Occurs at low tide levels and below, under rocks down to 183 metres.
Brittle Stars are detritus feeders. This is probably the most common shallow water brittle star in southern Australia.
Bennett, I. (1987) W.J. Dakin's classic study: Australian Seashores. p.356, Angus & Robertson, Sydney.
Davey, K. (1998) A Photographic Guide to Seashore Life of Australia. p.132, New Holland, Sydney.
Edgar, G.J. (1997) Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. p.354, Reed Books, Kew.
Quinn, G.P., Wescott, G.C. & Synnot, R.N. (1992) Life on the Rocky Shores of South-Eastern Australia: an illustrated field guide. p.83, Victorian National Parks Association, Melbourne.
Marine Research Group of Victoria (1984) Coastal Invertebrates of Victoria: an atlas of selected species. p.141, Museum of Victoria, Melbourne.