Ophiocten affinis (Lütken, 1858)

Ophiocten affinis

Description: A small active brittle star with banded arms. Usually grey in colour with darker bands on the arms, which are not as tapered and longer relative to the disc than in Ophiura species. The disc is covered with large circular plates edged with smaller plates. These small plates are often darker than the large ones, emphasising the pattern on the disc. There are arm combs of 7-9 short flat papillae and 3 slender arm spines. Disc 6mm., arms 4.5x disc diameter.

Habitat: Lives on silt-covered rocks and firm silty substrata.

Distribution: In shallow water this species has been found abundantly in some Scottish sea lochs. It has been recorded from deep water all round the British Isles.

Similar Species: Ophiura species are similar but generally have shorter arms.

Key Identification Features:

Distribution Map: NBN map : National Biodiversity Network mapping facility, data for UK.

WoRMS: Species record : World Register of Marine Species.

iNaturalist: Species account : iNaturalist World Species Observations database

 Picton, B.E. & Morrow, C.C. (2016). Ophiocten affinis (Lütken, 1858). [In] Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland. Accessed on 2023-12-11

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