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Phylum Echinodermata > Class Stellaroida > Subclass Ophiuroidea
Tiny colourful brittle stars
Ophiothela danae*
Family Ophiotrichidae
updated Apr 2020

Where seen? These tiny brittle stars are sometimes seen on sea fans, flowery soft corals and other cnidarians and even on Thorny sea urchins. A single host can be home to many of these tiny brittle stars. But it requires a keen eye to spot them.

Features: Whole animal about 1cm wide. 5-6 arms with very small spines, held flat, along the sides of the arm. Arms with colourful bands usually to match the host animal. Central disk also with colourful markings.

Changi, Jun 12
On a sea fan.

Changi, Jul 12

On a flowery soft coral colony.
Pulau Sekudu, Jul 05

Cyrene, Aug 20
In leathery sea fan
Photo shared by James Koh on facebook.

Cyrene Reef, Dec 08
In asparagus soft coral.

East Coast, Jun 06
On a sea pen.

St. John's Island, Sep 09
On hard coral .

St. John's Island, Aug 08
On a starry leathery soft coral.

Pulau Sekudu, May 04
On pencil sea urchin spine.

*Species are difficult to positively identify without close examination.
On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience of display

Tiny colourful brittle stars on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores

On Knobbly sea star
Changi Carpark 7, May 21

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Pulau Ubin, Jul 17

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Pulau Ubin, Dec 12

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.

On flowery soft coral.

Chek Jawa, Jul 16
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

On pencil sea urchin spine.

Cyrene Reef, Feb 16
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

on leathery sea fan.
Kusu Island, Sep 19
Photo shared by Leon Tan on facebook .

On Black-and-white leathery soft coral.
Big Sisters Island, Sep 20

Photo shared by Vincent Choo on facebook .

Small Sisters Island, Aug 21
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook .



  • Lane, David J.W. and Didier Vandenspiegel. 2003. A Guide to Sea Stars and Other Echinoderms of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre. 187pp.
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