Animal Species:Schayer's Brittle Star

Sydney has several species of brittle stars and the common name is derived from the fact that their arms fall off easily when handled or disturbed. Schayer's Brittlestar is the largest and most common brittle star found in Sydney waters

Schayer's Brittle Star Ophionereis schayeri

Dr Isobel Bennett © Australian Museum

Standard Common Name

Schayer's Brittle Star

Alternative Name/s

Snake Star

Identification

The central disc is grey with white spots and the arms are banded with black, grey and cream. Its long, flexible arms are held together with muscles and look snake-like, giving it its other common name of Snake Star.

Size range

18 cm

Distribution

Schayer's Brittle Star is found in Sydney, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania.

Habitat

Schayer's Brittle Star lives on intertidal rocky shores and in coastal waters to a depth of 180 m.

Feeding and Diet

Like sea stars, brittle stars have their mouth on the underside. They filter sand and mud from the ocean floor, feeding on detritus. Their digestive system is quite simple. They have a stomach but no intestine or anus, so any waste is excreted from the mouth.

Other behaviours and adaptations

Schayer's Brittle Star is often found under boulders and moves quickly away from light when the boulder is overturned.

 

Classification

Species:
schayeri
Genus:
Ophionereis
Family:
Ophionereididae
Order:
Ophiurida
Class:
Ophiuroidea
Phylum:
Echinodermata
Kingdom:
Animalia

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Tags brittle stars, starfish, echinoderms, invertebrates, identification, wildlife of sydney, marine,

2 comments

Sascha Schulz - 6.02 PM, 23 February 2010

Hi Will,

Glad to see your'e so keen to contribute to the AMS website!

 The easiest thing for you to do is to use the "Upload image, movie or audio" function available when you add a comment to a page. This uploads your image into the database and adds a link in your comment.

 cheers

Sascha

Will Teo - 11.02 PM, 17 February 2010
I have two close up images of the Schayer's Brittle star. who should i send to? thanx!

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