brittle star predator?


Active Member
Well, I think the reward was for a picture, so I have to give it to frozenguy. Perhaps, out of the kindness of his heart, he will share ;)
Legion, it may very well have been eaten, but the question is did the star kill it? There are a remarkable number of things that can kill a damsel, not the least of which is agression with other damsels, such as clowns :) Anyway, no, it is possible the star caught it. That happens, and that is a risk in keeping these artificial ecosystems in our living rooms.

sunken ship

Thank you Ophiura for helping answer rescue's question. I don't think that anybody else has such a reputation for knowledge about stars on this forum as you do.
We all report on our own experiences and try to help ourselves and others learn through those experiences.
And jwishy, I am happy to see you go, even if you don't live up to your word on the $1,000,000 check to frozenguy. Best of luck to you, and I hope that you learned a thing or two about socializing.


I'm with sunken ship. The previous post helped in my understaning of stars and I'm keeping mine either way. Its really cool and it's a great janitor.


Active Member
Ugh. This thread gives me a headache in rereading it again (I can't pass up the few brittlestar specific threads that come this way, those seastar things are just soooooo bland in comparison). My apologies for being snippy above, but I think it was the direction the whole thread was going and I can only request civility in the future. There are, after all, many things we do not know about the behavior about these animals.


i definatly will share it with everyone!!!:D :D :D
as bad as this thread got, i still learned a lot:D
cya jwishy
thanks ophiura....


Active Member
From personal experience, they can and will eat anything they can catch, we have seen one in our tank catch a shrimp, before we could help it escape the brittle star had killed it, we can't keep and shrimp in the reef or any small fish, they always come up missing. Lisa



Originally posted by jwishy
and salty shark I have sumps and tanks in my garage bigger then your tank so get a grip. My protein skimmer costs more then your whole setup. have you ever read a book? Do you own any books?

Excuse me if I don't bow down to your superior sump right now...I am LMAO at the moment!! I just found it funny that all of your valid points were shot down hehe. It's great how you had to resort to the pre-schoolers method of solving problems "mine's better than yours" just to make your opinion sound credible. Can you get anymore off the topic??? And I'm glad that you need such an elaborate, expensive setup just to keep a successful saltwater aquarium. But hey, if spending your entire monthly earnings and paying installments on your skimmer is what works for you then I am not one to comment ;) I'm sorry I could I be so rude to a man with such a thin wallet? ;)
Oh yeah thanks for the clarification Ophiura, and for the pic Frozenguy and also everyone else who contributed their comment in a positive way.


New Member
Thankyou for proving everyone else's point!! You obviously don't have a very strong grasp of interpreting the written English language. I guess all the books you own are primarily the picture type. The lack of a comma after "Serpant Star" tells the reader that the subject is one and the same. Also, in the works cited section of the web page you provided, the site of Enchanted Learning best describes that a serpant star and brittle star are the same, in very, very, simple English. (I have provided the link for everyone's enjoyment.) Also, none of these valuable research sites prove your point, in fact, to the educated reader, they state exactly what a serpant/brittle star is, which you have so nicely quoted for us; even though using other's quotes is "taboo"! So, I guess doing research does pay off. Oh, and to quote your source "Brittle Stars have a wide variety of food. Some filter plankton from the water with their arms and others are predators." So, as you stated in your first reply "Legion unless your brittlestar is a green serpent star I assure you that it did not catch, kill, and eat your damsel. The green serpent star is the only starfish in the hobby that is predatory towards fish.
Please think before you go putting out information like your brittlestar caught and eat your fish. This is bad information that has irreconcilable ramifications," apparantley brittle stars are PREDATORY, and I did think before putting out this reply and I simply researched this with the information you provided!


Active Member
I can't believe this debate.
First, for information on this group of animals, please refer to my own website.
The Ophiuroidea
There is no biological distinction between brittlestars and serpentstars, and trying to say that one is predatory while the other is not is complete and totally false. This generalization can simply not be made. I have no idea how to get this point across to everyone. Really. Honestly :rolleyes:
All brittle/serpentstars move by "rowing" their arms. None have the suction cups on tube feet like seastars, and they do not move in this fashion.
And not even all Ophiarachna incrassata are predatory in tanks (and please, for clarification, use the latin terms since the above designation of brittlestar and serpentstar is meaningless).
All predatory Echinoderms have a unique method of eating: they push their stomach outside of their mouth and digest their prey externally
This quote is so wrong it is almost laughable. But it seems that this site is using 'serpentstar' and 'brittlestar' interchangeably, which is a perfectly valid thing.


So they are the same animal but are some of them just from a different region or something? Becasue some of them have obvious bristtles and some of them appear to have smooth limbs? I am not taking anyones side by the way I just want to learn. ANd if it was my million the picture would have to be a little more clear. In my opinion that dark spot could have just as easy have been a shadow!


WOW......sorry for the slow reply, I've been at work for two days and wasnt able to get on the board.
I didnt relize my little question would cause such an uproar.
just to elaborate on my original post. My water parameters are all good and the two fish that are missing are red firefish and a canary goby, both were small and could very easily have been eaten by my green brittle star. I just wasnt sure if this was in their nature.



Originally posted by DINHOUSE
ANd if it was my million the picture would have to be a little more clear. In my opinion that dark spot could have just as easy have been a shadow!

i dont see how the shadow cood look just like a tail, as you see it curves into points, then back in like a cresent moon, but the other side goes straight as if attatching to a a fish i guess :rolleyes:

melissa v.

In response to the origional question i had a BROWN serpent star eat 2 fish, he swelled up like a watermelon, after each fisH.


Active Member
rescue,Unfortunately there was no good reason for your thread to have caused such a stir. :) But people don't need much. It is entirely possible that the brittlestar ate it.
While generally considered to be defensive, the scope and purpose of brittlestar spines is probably open to debate. Certainly, in some species, they are used in feeding (longer, more delicate spines indicating filter feeders). Simply put, some have long spines, some have short; some hold the spines perpendicular to the arm, and some hold the parallel to the arm...most of the time. But there is no biological distinction here.
For example, the common 'serpentstars' like the bright red Ophioderma squamosissimum (red serpentstar) and Ophioderma appressum (harlequin serpentstar) are more closely related
to the green brittlestar Ophiarachna incrassata than either are
to the black brittlestar in the genus Ophiocoma.
Very closely related animals can have very different types of arm spines...but they all have arm spines, and there is no behavioral characteristic that can be applied across the board. There is no geographical relationship whatsoever.
I don't really know how to emphasize the fact that serpentstar and brittlestar are both acceptable terms used to describe all of these animals, irrespective of spine length.
Here are some of my pictures to try and demonstrate.
The "serpent star" Ophioderma squamosissimum:

The "brittlestar" Ophiomastix annulosa:


Active Member
Ophiura is the jacque cousteau of serpent stars on any board. You just got owned big time!
. If you rub some preparation-H on your rectum you may be able to sit down in a few days.


Active Member
ophiura was chosen to be a mod, because of her credentials, not beliefs. Normally sharks are picked for other reasons, but one of the biggest contributions she had(being such a new member) was her credentials concerning stars. Yes, ophiura, we just want you for your brain(but now tha We have seen your pic :D)
I am waiting to see 2 things, jwishy
your credentials, and your money
right now, I have to say put up or shut up
as for this book you keep citing, when was it written?? And is that the only source of info you have to offer?
I know for a fact that ophiura has devoted alot of time adn school towards the starfish, and in fact, her real job involves this work as well and I am pretty sure that they checked her resume before they hired her.
let us see yoru credentials and experiences. then, if you can pay up for the offer you have made. Instead of making up excuses for putting your other foot in your mouth.
as for the original thread, yes some do eat small fish. Even, if they are known for not doing so, they are carnivorous adn will not starve, if a meal is in front of them. Outside of that, in this hobby there are many abnormal and to say NO WAY can it happen is asking for trouble here. Because there will almost always be an exception. I know that I can offer a list of exceptions in this hobby long enough to fill your BIG sump(just on the exceptions that i have personally seen), if I had the time and patience. IF.


Active Member
gold rush:
not sure what it does or how it works, but in everyones user profile, at the bottom is an option to add that identity to your ignore list.
check out his profile and try it, it may do something for you, and if everyone did it......
(did i say that)