BIOTIC Species Information for Ophiura ophiura
Click here to view the MarLIN Key Information Review for Ophiura ophiura
Researched byLizzie Tyler Data supplied byUniversity of Sheffield
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
Taxonomy
Scientific nameOphiura ophiura Common nameSerpent star
MCS CodeZB170 Recent Synonyms

PhylumEchinodermata SubphylumAsterozoa
Superclass ClassOphiuroidea
Subclass OrderOphiurida
Suborder FamilyOphiuridae
GenusOphiura Speciesophiura
Subspecies   

Additional Information
Taxonomy References Southward & Campbell, 2006, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Howson & Picton, 1997,
General Biology
Growth formRadial
Stellate
Feeding methodPredator
Scavenger
Mobility/MovementSwimmer
Crawler
Burrower
Environmental positionEpifaunal
Epibenthic
Typical food typesSmall bivalves, polychaetes, crustaceans and carrion HabitFree living
BioturbatorNot relevant FlexibilityHigh (>45 degrees)
FragilityFragile SizeSmall-medium(3-10cm)
HeightNot researched Growth RateNot Researched
Adult dispersal potential1km-10km DependencyIndependent
SociabilitySolitary
Toxic/Poisonous?No
General Biology Additional Information
Biology References Wilding & Gage, 1995, Webb & Tyler, 1985, Dahm, 1993, Gage, 1990, Ramsay & Kaiser, 1998, Feder, 1981, Hughes, 1998, Fish & Fish, 1996, Southward & Campbell, 2006, Picton, 1993, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Hayward & Ryland, 1990, Julie Bremner, unpub data,
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandFound on all British and Irish coasts.
Global distributionFound in north-west Europe from Norway to the Shetlands and south to Spain and the Azores, in the Mediterranean off Turkey and Malta and in the Black Sea off the coasts of Ukraine.
Biogeographic rangeTemperate to warm temperate. Depth range
MigratoryNon-migratory / Resident   
Distribution Additional Information

Substratum preferencesCoarse clean sand
Fine clean sand
Sandy mud
Muddy sand
Mud
Gravelley sand
Gravelly mud
Physiographic preferencesOpen coast
Offshore seabed
Strait / sound
Sealoch
Ria / Voe
Estuary
Biological zoneSublittoral Fringe
Upper Infralittoral
Lower Infralittoral
Upper Circalittoral
Lower Circalittoral
Circalittoral Offshore
Bathybenthic (Bathyal)
Wave exposureField unresearched
Tidal stream strength/Water flowField unresearched
SalinityFull (30-40 psu)
Habitat Preferences Additional Information
Distribution References Fish & Fish, 1996, Southward & Campbell, 2006, Picton, 1993, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Hayward & Ryland, 1990, Julie Bremner, unpub data,
Reproduction/Life History
Reproductive typeGonochoristic
Developmental mechanism
Reproductive SeasonNot researched Reproductive LocationInsufficient information
Reproductive frequencyAnnual protracted Regeneration potential Yes
Life span6-10 years Age at reproductive maturity1-2 years
Generation timeNot researched Fecundity
Egg/propagule size Fertilization typeExternal
Larvae/Juveniles
Larval/Juvenile dispersal potentialNot researched Larval settlement periodNot researched
Duration of larval stage   
Reproduction Preferences Additional Information
Reproduction References Webb & Tyler, 1985, Gage, 1990, Tyler, 1977a, Hughes, 1998, Fish & Fish, 1996, Southward & Campbell, 2006, Picton, 1993, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Julie Bremner, unpub data,
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