MarLIN

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

Small brittle star (Amphipholis squamata)

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

Summary

Description

Amphipholis squamata is a small inconspicuous brittle star, with a circular disc and spindly arms. It is grey/bluish-white in colour. The disc has a diameter ranging between 3-5 mm, with its dorsal surface covered in small scales. The arms are up to 20 mm in length (approximately 4 x the length of the disc) and consist of numerous marginal plates each with 3 or 4 conical arm spines. The mouth shields are small rhomboids, with very broad mouth papillae.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

This species is widely distributed throughout the British Isles and Ireland. It is often overlooked, and therefore probably under recorded.

Global distribution

-

Habitat

Amphipholis squamata can be found intertidally and in shallow water; under stones, amongst rockpool weeds and occasionally on sandy bottoms. It is also found amongst algal and bryozoan turfs.

Depth range

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Identifying features

  • Small inconspicuous brittle star.
  • Circular disc 3-5 mm in diameter, with small scales covering dorsal surface.
  • Thin arms 20 mm in length.
  • Grey/bluish-white in colour.

Additional information

This species is a deposit feeder collecting particles within its tube feet, and a suspension feeder via trapping detritus in mucus. It is hermaphroditic and the eggs are brooded and hatched as juveniles.

Listed by

- none -

Further information sources

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Bibliography

  1. Emson, R.H. & Whitfield, P.J., 1989. Aspects of the life history of a tide pool population of Amphipholis squamata (Ophiuroidea) from south Devon. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 69, 27-41.

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

  3. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. (ed.) 1995a. The marine fauna of the British Isles and north-west Europe. Volume 2. Molluscs to Chordates. Oxford Science Publications. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

  4. 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.]

  5. JNCC (Joint Nature Conservation Committee), 1999. Marine Environment Resource Mapping And Information Database (MERMAID): Marine Nature Conservation Review Survey Database. [on-line] http://www.jncc.gov.uk/mermaid

  6. Mortensen, T.H., 1927. Handbook of the echinoderms of the British Isles. London: Humphrey Milford, Oxford University Press.

  7. Picton, B.E. & Costello, M.J., 1998. BioMar biotope viewer: a guide to marine habitats, fauna and flora of Britain and Ireland. [CD-ROM] Environmental Sciences Unit, Trinity College, Dublin.

  8. Picton, B.E., 1993. A field guide to the shallow-water echinoderms of the British Isles. London: Immel Publishing Ltd.

Datasets

  1. Centre for Environmental Data and Recording, 2018. IBIS Project Data. Occurrence dataset: https://www.nmni.com/CEDaR/CEDaR-Centre-for-Environmental-Data-and-Recording.aspx accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-09-25.

  2. Centre for Environmental Data and Recording, 2018. Ulster Museum Marine Surveys of Northern Ireland Coastal Waters. Occurrence dataset https://www.nmni.com/CEDaR/CEDaR-Centre-for-Environmental-Data-and-Recording.aspx accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-09-25.

  3. Cofnod – North Wales Environmental Information Service, 2018. Miscellaneous records held on the Cofnod database. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/hcgqsi accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-25.

  4. Fenwick, 2018. Aphotomarine. Occurrence dataset http://www.aphotomarine.com/index.html Accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-01

  5. Fife Nature Records Centre, 2018. St Andrews BioBlitz 2014. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/erweal accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-27.

  6. Fife Nature Records Centre, 2018. St Andrews BioBlitz 2016. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/146yiz accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-27.

  7. Isle of Wight Local Records Centre, 2017. IOW Natural History & Archaeological Society Marine Invertebrate Records 1853- 2011. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/d9amhg accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-27.

  8. Kent Wildlife Trust, 2018. Biological survey of the intertidal chalk reefs between Folkestone Warren and Kingsdown, Kent 2009-2011. Occurrence dataset: https://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/ accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-01.

  9. Kent Wildlife Trust, 2018. Kent Wildlife Trust Shoresearch Intertidal Survey 2004 onwards. Occurrence dataset: https://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/ accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-01.

  10. Manx Biological Recording Partnership, 2017. Isle of Man wildlife records from 01/01/2000 to 13/02/2017. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/mopwow accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  11. Manx Biological Recording Partnership, 2018. Isle of Man historical wildlife records 1990 to 1994. Occurrence dataset:https://doi.org/10.15468/aru16v accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  12. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from: https://www.nbnatlas.org.

  13. National Trust, 2017. National Trust Species Records. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/opc6g1 accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  14. OBIS,  2018. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2018-10-23

  15. South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre, 2018. SEWBReC Marine and other Aquatic Invertebrates (South East Wales). Occurrence dataset:https://doi.org/10.15468/zxy1n6 accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.

  16. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, 2018. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Shoresearch. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/1nw3ch accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Rowley, S.J. 2006. Amphipholis squamata Small brittle star. 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. [cited 23-10-2018]. Available from: https://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/2071

Last Updated: 06/09/2006