Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

 A dark-coloured brittlestar, with a round flattish central disc up to 2.5 cm in diameter. The five, thin, flexible arms are about five times the disc diameter in length. Down both sides of each arm is a row of short, erect spines, arranged like teeth on a comb. Ophiocomina nigra moves by means of mainly horizontal movements of the arms that push against the rocky substratum.Pale, almost white, specimens may occur in any population.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

©  The Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Source: Marine Life Information Network

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Description

A large brittle star with moderately long arms and a smooth disc. The arm spines are prominent and neatly arranged like the teeth on a comb. The characteristic colour is almost uniform dark brown or black but pale, almost white specimens occur in any population. There are five to seven long slender arm spines and a pair of tentacle scales. Disc 25mm., arms 5x disc diameter.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© National Museums Northern Ireland and its licensors

Source: Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Distribution

Sublittoral to about 100 m depth, on coarse sand and gravel around western coasts of the British Isles from Devon to Shetland, including the Irish Sea, and down the norheast coast to Northumberland. Otherwise absent from the North Sea
  • Southward, E.C.; Campbell, A.C. (2006). [Echinoderms: keys and notes for the identification of British species]. Synopses of the British fauna (new series), 56. Field Studies Council: Shrewsbury, UK. ISBN 1-85153-269-2. 272 pp.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© WoRMS for SMEBD

Source: World Register of Marine Species

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Common all round the British Isles apart from the southern North Sea.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© National Museums Northern Ireland and its licensors

Source: Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 162 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 17 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 40
  Temperature range (°C): 10.422 - 12.146
  Nitrate (umol/L): 4.573 - 8.618
  Salinity (PPS): 34.243 - 35.352
  Oxygen (ml/l): 6.068 - 6.328
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.333 - 0.598
  Silicate (umol/l): 2.315 - 4.820

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 40

Temperature range (°C): 10.422 - 12.146

Nitrate (umol/L): 4.573 - 8.618

Salinity (PPS): 34.243 - 35.352

Oxygen (ml/l): 6.068 - 6.328

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.333 - 0.598

Silicate (umol/l): 2.315 - 4.820
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

 Ophiocomina nigra is found on hard substrata, such as boulders, bedrock and gravel, on moderately exposed coasts with some water movement. It occurs from low water of spring tides to a depth of 400 m, although it appears to be rare below 100 m.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

©  The Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Source: Marine Life Information Network

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Usually found in moderately sheltered sites with some water movement, may form dense beds with over 100 animals to the square metre, often associated with Ophiothrix fragilis. Lives out in the open on boulders, bedrock or gravel. Tolerant of brackish conditions.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© National Museums Northern Ireland and its licensors

Source: Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Breeding

Ophiopluteus larva. Summer
  • Southward, E.C.; Campbell, A.C. (2006). [Echinoderms: keys and notes for the identification of British species]. Synopses of the British fauna (new series), 56. Field Studies Council: Shrewsbury, UK. ISBN 1-85153-269-2. 272 pp.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© WoRMS for SMEBD

Source: World Register of Marine Species

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Ophiocomina nigra

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 2 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

AGTCGGTGATTATTTTCTACAAAACATAAGGACATTGGAACTCTGTACCTCATATTTGGAGCTTGGGCAGGAACAGTTGGGACAGCAATG---AGTAATATAATACGAGTAGAGCTATCACAACCAGGCTCACTTATTCAAGAT---GACCAACTTTACAAAGTAATGGTCACAGCTCACGCATTCGTCATGATATTCTTCATGGTAATGCCTATAATGATAGGAGGATTCGGAAACTGACTAGTACCACTCATG---ATAGGAGCCCCAGATATGGCTTTCCCCCGGATGAATAATATGAGCTTTTGACTAGTGCCTCCAGCATTCTTACTACTGATGGCTTCCGCAGGAAAAGAGAGAGGAGTTGGTACTGGATGAACTGCCTACCCCCCCCTTTCAGGCCCCGTAGCACATGCTGGAGGCTGCGTAGACTTG---GCCATATTCTCGTTACACTTAGCCGGTGCATCTTCAATAATGGCCTCAATTAAATTTATTACAACCATTATAAACATGCGATCTCCAGGGATGACAATGGACCGAGTCCCCTTATTCGTCTGATCTATCTTAATAACGACAGTATTACTTCTACTTTCCTTACCAGTATTAGCCGGG---GCCATAACAATGTTATTAACAGACCGGAAAATAAAAACCACGTTTTTTGACCCAACCGGAGGAGGAGACCCAATCCTATTTCAACACTTATTCTGATTCTTTGGGCACCCCGAAGTATATATCCTAATATTACCAGGGTTCGGGATAATTTCCCACATAGTAACCAGACGAACAGGTAAGCAA---CAACCGTTTGGATACTTAGGAATGATGTATGCCATGATTGCGATCGGAATTCTAGGATTTATCGTTTGGGCCCACCATATGTTTACAGTAGGCCTAGATGTAGACACACGCGCCTATTTCACTGCTGCTACAATGATAATTGCCATCCCCACCGGTGTTAAGGTATTTAGCTGATTA---GCAACGTTACAAGGAG
-- end --

Download FASTA File

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Ophiocomina nigra

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Ophiocomina nigra

Ophiocomina nigra, commonly known as the black brittle star or black serpent star, is a species of marine invertebrate in the order Ophiurida. It occurs in the north-eastern Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.[1]

Description[edit]

O. nigra is a large brittle star with five narrow arms up to 125mm long and a quite distinct central disc which is up to 25mm wide. The general colour is black or varying shades of brown, but pale coloured specimens occasionally occur. The upper surface of the disc is covered with fine granules which obscure the plates which cover the surface. On the underside the granules are restricted to the outer portion and the plates are visible towards the central mouth. This is surrounded by the feeding apparatus known as Aristotle's lantern with five toothed jaws each with oval jaw plates.[2] There is a comb-like arrangement of spines down either side of the arms giving them a bristly appearance.[3] On the upper side, each arm segment is covered by a broad plate with 5 to 7 spines. On the underside there are tube feet but these have no suckers.[2]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

O. nigra occurs in the eastern Atlantic Ocean from Norway south to the Azores, and also the North Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.[2] It is found on rocks, boulders and gravel in the neritic zone down to about one hundred metres but is occasionally found at greater depths.[3] It is tolerant of low salinity levels.[2]

Biology[edit]

O. nigra is a predator, scavenger and filter feeder. It catches pieces of organic detritus and small invertebrate prey with its arms and thrusts them into its mouth. It can scavenge from carcases or graze on algal films.[4] As a suspension feeder, it raises one or more arms into the current of water flowing past. There is a net of mucous threads among the spines on the arms which trap plankton and other organic floating matter. These are then rolled into boluses and transported to the mouth by ciliary currents and the tube feet.[5]

Breeding of O. nigra takes place in June in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland. A large female is often found in association with a smaller male, which clings above or below her. Fertilisation however takes place in the water column and is a chance meeting of two gametes.[6] The larvae are planktonic and settle out after several months. The species seems to be slow-growing and long-lived, not becoming mature before the age of three or four years.[4]

Ecology[edit]

O. nigra is often found living in association with another brittle star, Ophiothrix fragilis.[7] Numerous individuals of these two species sometimes form dense communities with hundreds of brittle stars per square metre. These beds may extend several hundred square metres over sandy and pebbly sediment on the sea floor and contain millions of brittle stars.[8] These can be either O. nigra or O. fragilis, or a mixed community of the two. The vast social agglomerations can be advantageous in enabling the brittle stars to filter feed in fast moving currents which would otherwise sweep them away.[8] Often the bed consists of adults and newly settled juveniles, with intermediate sized individuals living elsewhere. Other echinoderms likely to be in the same vicinity (and enjoying the feast) are the predatory starfish, Asterias rubens, Luidia ciliaris and Crossaster papposus and the sea urchins, Echinus esculentus and Psammechinus miliaris. Also present are likely to be the crabs Cancer pagurus, Necora puber and Liocarcinus spp., and the hermit crab, Pagurus bernhardus. On rocky outcrops among the seething mass of brittle stars the soft coral, Alcyonium digitatum, the hydroid, Nemertesia antennina and the sea anemone, Metridium senile, are often found. Another sea anemone, Urticina felina, may be semi-buried in the sediment and surrounded by an area clear of brittle stars.[8][9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Ophiocomina nigra (Abildgaard, in O.F. Müller, 1789) World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 2011-08-31.
  2. ^ a b c d Black Brittle Star (Ophiocomina nigra) Marine Species Identification Portal. Retrieved 2011-08-31.
  3. ^ a b Black brittlestar: Ophiocomina nigra Marine Life Information Network. Retrieved 2011-08-31.
  4. ^ a b Ecology of Bed-Forming Brittlestars Retrieved 2011-08-31.
  5. ^ The feeding mechanisms of the ophiuroid Ophiocomina nigra Retrieved 2011-08-31.
  6. ^ Gorzula, S.J., 1979. Breeding behaviour of Ophiocomina nigra (Abildgaard) in the Firth of Clyde. The Western Naturalist, 8: 47-67.
  7. ^ Ophiocomina nigra (Abildgaard, 1789) Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland. Retrieved 2011-08-31.
  8. ^ a b c Ophiothrix fragilis and/or Ophiocomina nigra brittlestar beds on sublittoral mixed sediment Joint Nature Conservation Committee. Retrieved 2011-08-31.
  9. ^ Warner, G.F., 1971. On the ecology of a dense bed of the brittle-star Ophiothrix fragilis. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 51: 267-282.
Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!