ECHINODERMATA : OPHIURIDA : AmphiuridaeSTARFISH, SEA URCHINS, ETC.

Acrocnida brachiata (Montagu, 1804)


Description: A medium-sized brittle star with very long arms which lives buried in sand. The dorsal and ventral surfaces of the disc are covered in scales. Those of the ventral surface and the edge of the disc bear small tubercles. There are 8-10 short conical arm spines and 2 tentacle scales. Disc to 13mm, arms 15x disc diameter.

Habitat: This brittle star burrows in clean sand from low water mark to 40m, commoner in shallow water. Often associated with Echinocardium cordatum.

Distribution: South and west coasts of the British Isles, probably also on North Sea coasts.

Similar Species: Larger and coarser than Amphiura species, none of which have tubercles on their disc scales. Amphiura chiajei is most similar but never has more than six arm spines and has smooth ventral and marginal disc scales.

Key Identification Features:

Distribution Map from BioMar data for Ireland - Google Earth map:  download this placemark (not got Google Earth installed?)

Distribution Map from NBN: Grid map (fast) : Interactive map (slow, requires login to view records) : National Biodiversity Network mapping facility, data for UK.


 Picton, B.E. & Morrow, C.C., 2010. [In] Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland
http://www.habitas.org.uk/marinelife/species.asp?item=ZB2850

[Home]