Banded Brittle Star (Ophiolepis superba)

Also known as Banded Brittle Starfish, Banded Serpent Star, Black-banded Serpent Star, Brittle Sea Star, Brittle Star, Fancy Serpent Sea Star, Mosaic Brittle Star, Painted Serpent Starfish, Serpent Star, Starfish, Superb Brittle Star, Tiger-striped Sea Star, Zebra Brittle Starfish

Description

Also known as Banded Brittle Starfish, Banded Serpent Star, Black-banded Serpent Star, Brittle Sea Star, Brittle Star, Fancy Serpent Sea Star, Mosaic Brittle Star, Painted Serpent Starfish, Serpent Star, Starfish, Superb Brittle Star, Tiger-striped Sea Star, Zebra Brittle Starfish.

Found during the day under coral rubble, in the open at night foraging for food over shallow protected reef areas.
They feed nocturnally on carrion and detritus.
Length - 9cm
Depth - 0-30m
Widespread Indo-West Pacific

Sea Stars have remarkable regenerative powers, when attacked and damaged by predators they are able to grow new arms. They usually have five arms but have been found with 4 or 6 arms, this may be because more than one arm has been damaged at one time!
They possess a cleverly evolved arsenal of hydraulic tube feet connected to an elaborate water-vascular system that encircles the animal's mouth and extends via five radial canals down the centre of each arm.
Their mouth is underneath, but their prey is absorbed outside their mouths by forcing out their digestive organs from their stomach.
Sea Stars are carnivores and feed on almost any food including molluscs, worms, detritus and each other!
Some sea stars like the crown of thorns can be venomous. Ref: https://www.sealifebase.ca/summary/Ophiolepis-superba.html

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