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Schayer's Brittle Star Ophionereis schayeri

Form:

Photo of Schayer's Brittle StarThis 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.

Colour:

Schayer's Brittle Star is usually grey, with dark rings around the long arms.

Phylum:

Echinodermata

Author:

Muller & Troschel, 1849

Family:

Ophiochitonidae

Size:

Disc 25 mm, arms to 130 mm

Distribution:

Distribution map of Schayer's Brittle StarRanges 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.

Habitat:

Occurs at low tide levels and below, under rocks down to 183 metres.

Biology:

Brittle Stars are detritus feeders. This is probably the most common shallow water brittle star in southern Australia.


References:

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.

Echinoderms
Seastars
& Brittlestars

Small Green Seastar
Eight-armed Seastar
Eleven-armed Seastar
Schayer's Brittlestar


Home Page
Taxonomy
Biogeography
Rocky Shores
Tidal Levels
Intertidal Zonation
Environmental Factors
Biological Factors
Feeding Relationships
Activities

Glossary
References

 

photo of Keith DaveyLife on Australian Seashores
by Keith Davey (C) 2000

Learning Consultant - Media
The University of Newcastle

email at australian_seashores@hotmail.com

Scientific Consultant: Phil Colman
site created 01.01.98 : updated 01.04.2000