MarLIN

information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

Serpent’s table brittlestar (Ophiura albida)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.

Summary

Description

A red-brown brittlestar with a disc up to 15 mm in diameter, smaller than Ophiura ophiura. The arms are about four times the diameter of the disc which is covered, on the upper surface, with coarse scales. The arm spines lie almost flat against the arms.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

All British and Irish coasts.

Global distribution

-

Habitat

Found sublittorally on a variety of soft substrata but mainly fine muddy sands.

Depth range

-

Identifying features

  • Disk up to 15 mm diameter.
  • Primary plates not distinct.
  • Radial shields small.
  • Innermost dorsal arm plates heart-shaped.
  • Outer arm comb of 10-12 short, stout spines; inner comb indistinct.
  • Dorsal and ventral arm plates with convex outer edge.
  • Three arm spines equidistant from each other.
  • Three to five simple mouth papillae.

Additional information

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Listed by

- none -

Further information sources

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Bibliography

  1. Bradshaw, C., Veale, L.O., Hill, A.S. & Brand, A.R., 2002. The role of scallop-dredge disturbance in long-term changes in Irish Sea benthic communities: a re-analysis of an historical dataset. Journal of Sea Research, 47, 161-184.

  2. Fish, J.D. & Fish, S., 1996. A student's guide to the seashore. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  3. Hayward, P., Nelson-Smith, T. & Shields, C. 1996. Collins pocket guide. Sea shore of Britain and northern Europe. London: HarperCollins.

  4. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. (ed.) 1995b. Handbook of the marine fauna of North-West Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  5. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Wilson, E. 1999. Ophiura albida Serpent’s table brittlestar. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Available from: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/1196

Last Updated: 27/08/1999