Howies Scuba

Marine Life Identification Perth WA

Shore Diving

 Brittle, Snake or Serpent Stars

Brittle stars or ophiuroids are echinoderms in the class Ophiuroidea closely related to starfish. They crawl across the seafloor using their flexible arms for locomotion. The ophiuroids generally have five long slender, whip-like arms which may reach up to 60 centimetres (24 in) in length on the largest specimens. They are also known as serpent stars... (Wikipedia)


You will have to forgive me at the moment, the book I use to identify Stars with has been destroyed.

I don't know if he did it by accident or in protest but the cat pee'd on my bag that the book was in and, I don't care how long you air that thing for you ain't getting rid of that smell.

So I have to order a new book.... If you are wondering why the cat may have done it as a protest we had put a cone around his neck and stopped him playing out whilst an injury healed.... I know mean owners.

Brittle Star

This little gem photographed on my birthday night dive at Woodmans Point Groin.

It is almost impossible to see one of these stars out and about the sand.

They mainly like to hide under sponges and rocks pretty much 24 hours a day.

However you do have a better chance of seeing them at night, but as soon as they detect light they run for cover or curl their arms up and out of site.

Snake Stars

These are brilliant, so difficult to see at first but once you know where to look, they are everywhere.

When I saw photograph 3, I thought the Seafan was displaying its feeding tentalces and it wasn't until I got home and reviewed the days photographs that it dawned on me what these were.

The only problem is is that they seem to sense any movement and quickly disappear from view, so if you are looking for them just take your time when approaching and try not to disturb the branches of the Seafans.

Sometimes these Stars can be seen behind encrusting sponges on jetty pylons, but again as soon as you move any obstruction they curl up and move out of sight.


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