BIOTIC Species Information for Amphipholis squamata
Researched byLizzie Tyler Data supplied byUniversity of Sheffield
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
Scientific nameAmphipholis squamata Common nameSmall brittle star
MCS CodeZB160 Recent Synonyms

PhylumEchinodermata SubphylumAsterozoa
Superclass ClassOphiuroidea
Subclass OrderOphiurida
Suborder FamilyAmphiuridae
GenusAmphipholis Speciessquamata

Additional Information
Taxonomy References Howson & Picton, 1997, Hayward et al., 1996, Mortensen, 1927, Hayward & Ryland, 1995a, Picton, 1993, Emson & Whitfield, 1989,
General Biology
Growth formRadial
Feeding method
Environmental position
Typical food typesAlgae, small macrofauna, copepods, ostracods. HabitFree living
Bioturbator FlexibilityHigh (>45 degrees)
FragilityFragile SizeSmall-medium(3-10cm)
Height2 cm Growth RateNot researched
Adult dispersal potentialNot researched DependencyIndependent
General Biology Additional Information
Biology References Emson & Whitfield, 1989, Fish & Fish, 1996, Hayward & Ryland, 1990,
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandWidely distributed throughout the British Isles and Ireland. It is often overlooked, and therefore probably under recorded.
Global distributionFound in north-west Europe, the Mediterranean, western India, eastern China, Australia and New Zealand, and on the eastern and western shores of the United States and Canada.
Biogeographic rangeTemperate to warm temperate. Depth range0 - 250 m
Distribution Additional Information

Substratum preferencesGravel / shingle
Physiographic preferences
Biological zone Wave exposure
Tidal stream strength/Water flow Salinity
Habitat Preferences Additional Information
Distribution References Hayward et al., 1996, Mortensen, 1927, Hayward & Ryland, 1995a, Picton, 1993, NBN, 2002, JNCC, 1999, Picton & Costello, 1998, Fish & Fish, 1996, Foster-Smith, 2000, Hayward & Ryland, 1990, Mortensen, 1927,
Reproduction/Life History
Reproductive type Developmental mechanismDirect Development
Reproductive SeasonAll year but mainly summer Reproductive LocationAs adult
Reproductive frequency Regeneration potential Yes
Life span3-5 years Age at reproductive maturity1 year
Generation timeNot researched Fecundity100
Egg/propagule size125 µm diameter Fertilization type
Larval/Juvenile dispersal potentialNot researched Larval settlement periodNot relevant
Duration of larval stage   
Reproduction Preferences Additional InformationAmphipholis are potentially self-fertilizing. They are hermaphroditic although the exact type of hermaphroditism has not been recorded.
Reproduction References Emson & Whitfield, 1989, Fish & Fish, 1996, Emson et al., 1989,
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