Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

 A small brittle star with very long arms which lives buried in muddy sand. Disc may be up to 11 mm in diameter with upper and underside surfaces covered in small smooth scales. Each arm segment has between 4-6 short spines on each side, none flattened or widened at the tip and two large tentacle scales. Colour in life reddish or greyish-brown, often somewhat mottled.Other Amphiura species are similar. Mixed populations of Amphiura chiajei and Amphiura filiformis are common.
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Source: Marine Life Information Network

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Description

A small brittle star with very long arms which lives buried in muddy sand. Dorsal and ventral surfaces of the disc are covered with small scales. There are 4-6 conical arm spines, none widened or flattened at the tips and 2 large tentacle scales. Disc 9-10mm. arms 9x disc diameter. Other Amphiura species are similar. Mixed populations of this species and Amphiura filiformis are common.
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Source: Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

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Distribution

In depths of 50 to more than 200 m, burrowing in sand or muddy sand, all round the British Isles, but rare in the English Channel.
  • 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.
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Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Reported from all round the British Isles mostly below 10 metres but there is some doubt over records from the south.
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Source: Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 490 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 331 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 454
  Temperature range (°C): 6.506 - 18.747
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.267 - 12.863
  Salinity (PPS): 32.851 - 39.023
  Oxygen (ml/l): 5.043 - 6.605
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.031 - 0.858
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.450 - 14.336

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 454

Temperature range (°C): 6.506 - 18.747

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.267 - 12.863

Salinity (PPS): 32.851 - 39.023

Oxygen (ml/l): 5.043 - 6.605

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.031 - 0.858

Silicate (umol/l): 1.450 - 14.336
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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 Amphiura chiajei lives partially buried in mud and muddy sand.
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This species lives buried in muddy sand and extends its arms across the surface of the substratum, feeding on deposited material.
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Source: Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Breeding

Ophiopluteus larva. Autumn.
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Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Amphiura chiajei

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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