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Brittle and Basket Stars: Ophiuroidea

Dwarf Brittle Star (amphipholis Squamata): Species Accounts

Physical characteristics: The body of dwarf brittle stars is only about 0.2 inches (5 millimeters) across, bluish or gray, circular, and covered with scales. The arms are short and thin and are orange, dark brown, beige, black, or gray.


Geographic range: Dwarf brittle stars live in all oceans of the world.


Habitat: Near the shore dwarf brittle stars live among algae, sea moss, and similar growths. In deep water they live under rocks and on sandy surfaces.


Diet: Dwarf brittle stars feed on particles such as algae and microscopic animals in the sand or mud and drifting in the water. One species feeds on dead fish.


Behavior and reproduction: Dwarf brittle stars are good climbers that use their tube feet when they move. They also use their tube feet to wipe food particles from their sticky spines. If bumped, dwarf brittle Dwarf brittle stars are good climbers that use their tube feet when they move. They also use their tube feet to wipe food particles from their sticky spines. (Ed Reschke/Peter Arnold, Inc) stars coil their arms over their body and sink rapidly to the bottom. Dwarf brittle stars make eggs and sperm at the same time. The eggs unite with sperm and develop in pouches at the base of the star's arms.


Dwarf brittle stars and people: Dwarf brittle stars have no known importance to people.


Conservation status: Dwarf brittle stars are not considered threatened or endangered. ∎

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceJellyfish, Sponges, and Other Simple AnimalsBrittle and Basket Stars: Ophiuroidea - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Dwarf Brittle Star (amphipholis Squamata): Species Accounts, Tropical Brittle Star (ophiactis Savignyi): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, BASKE