Marine Life‎ > ‎California‎ > ‎Invertebrates‎ > ‎

Brittle Stars

Banded Serpent Star

Ophioderma panamensis

(1: Sea Landing Cove, Santa Barbara Island)

Flat-Spined Brittle Star

Ophiopteris papillosa

(1: San Carlos Beach, Monterey)

Sand Brittle Star

Amphiura arcystata

(1-3,5: San Carlos Beach, Monterey / 4: Monterey State Beach, Monterey)

These burrow into the sand with only their tentacles visible.

Smooth Brittle Star

Ophioplocus esmarki

(1-3,6: Whaler's Cove, Point Lobos / 4: Coral Street, Monterey / 5: San Carlos Beach, Monterey)

This is what they look like underneath:
(1: San Carlos Beach, Monterey)

Spiny Brittle Star

Ophiothrix spiculata

(1,7,10: Monterey State Beach, Monterey / 2,4: Whaler's Cove, Point Lobos / 3: Monastery Beach, Carmel / 5-6: Bluefish Cove, Point Lobos / 8-9,11: San Carlos Beach, Monterey)

These like to hide in rocks and crevices during the day, but their tentacles are often still visible.

Here's a close up of the body:
(1: Monterey State Beach, Monterey)

This one has a tiny brittle star crawling on top of it.  (Brittle star inception!)
(1: San Carlos Beach, Monterey)