Yellow Brittle Star (Ophiarachna sp)
Phylum: Echinodermata, Class: Ophiuroidea
Range: Tropical Seas
Size: 8 in. Space:: 50+ gal. Diet: Detritus, dead organisms, small mollusks, small fish
Reef Safe: Yes Care Level: Easy Temperament: Peaceful
Natural History: The Yellow Brittle Star is seldom seen, despite being a common inhabitant of stony and coral-rich reefs. It can move much more quickly than typical starfish and uses tube feed to move and grab prey. It has strong jaws and can crack small snails open. Their arms are brittle and can crack off. It is a nocturnal animal.
Husbandry: The Yellow Brittle Star should be housed in an aquarium with live rock to provide hideouts. They are reclusive and nocturnal, usually only observed at night. Its actual food on the reef is unknown but they serve as good scavengers in captivity. It prefers warmer temperatures (82°F) and higher salinity (36ppt). It should be acclimated SLOWLY since it is intolerant of rapid changes in salinity or pH. This genus of starfish has been reported to eat small aquarium fish at night by dropping down onto and capturing sleeping fish.
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