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Spiny Brittle Star  - Ophiocoma paucigranulata
Photo by FKNMS

The spiny brittle star has numerous long, pointed arms (approximately 4-6 inches long) radiating from a 1 inch disc. Its body is varying shades of brown, with a distinctive thin, light-colored line running down each arm. It lives at depths of 5-80 feet, typically around living corals. Brittle stars can move surprisingly fast in a snake-like manner, pulling with a couple legs at a time.

Spiny Brittle Star
(Ophiocoma paucigranulata)

Distribution
Bahamas, Caribbean, and Florida

Habitat
Reefs

Diet
Detritus

Status

The status of this species is representative of the populations within the waters of this Sanctuary only, not global populations.

Quick Fact
The legs of spiny brittle stars can easily "fall off" if the animal is threatened, giving it the name "brittle". The brittle star can re-grow a new leg in approximately a month.

Learn More
- Wet Web Media
- National Wildlife Federation