Brittle Stars are abundant in Hawaii and are the fastest moving of all echinoderms.

Spiny Brittle Star
Ophiocoma erinaceus

Description • The Spiny Brittle Star is believed to have lived more than 208 million years ago.is black by day and gray bands appear at night. It has five arms and the tubed feed underside are sometimes red. The center disk is about 1 inch in diatmeter and the arms can reach a length up to 5 1/2 inches making it the largest common brittle star in Hawaii. All the vital organs are located in the central disk and the arms are used for defense, feeding and anchoring. Missing arms regenerate quickly.

Habitat: Brittle Stars usually hide under crevices, holes or rocks. On a dive at night they can be found partly out of their crevices, however they are keenly sensitive to light and will seek shelter when exposed.

Diet: Brittle stars filter plankton from the water through their spiny arms and scavenge the floor.