Black Brittle Star (Nigra) Ophiocomina nigra

Black Brittle Star Ophiocomina nigra
Black Brittle Star Ophiocomina nigra
Black Brittle Star Ophiocomina nigra
This is one of at least two species called the Black Brittle Star (the other is Ophiomastix janualis). It is native to coasts of the northeastern Atlantic including the North Sea, the Mediterranean and the Azores. Despite its common and scientific names, it is not always black; it can be mid brown or pale. Its central disc is often dark with a paler centre and some 2-3cm across. It has five spindly arms with white spines and can grow to some 12cm across, arm-tip to arm tip. It is both a predator of small invertebrates and a scavenger of detritus. It is often found in large communities.