Stella serpentina liscia - Ophioderma longicauda

Brittle or Serpentine starfish, Ophioderma longicauda, ​​is an Echinoderm of the Ophiodermatidae species, it is one of the most common starfish in the Mediterranean Sea. In this video we see two specimens, one with a diameter of approximately 10 cm, while the second smaller one has a diameter of approximately 5/6 cm. Brittle starfish 

Brittle starfish - Ophioderma longicauda - Stella serpentina liscia - www.intotheblue.it
Brittle starfish – Ophioderma longicauda – Stella serpentina liscia – www.intotheblue.it

This starfish is a sciaphilous species, meaning it prefers to live in the shade, which is why if we want to see it during the day we have to look under stones and rocks. Another thing to note is the speed with which this starfish takes refuge in the shade if exposed to sunlight. The footage is slowed to half the camera’s natural speed.

Brittle starfish - Ophioderma longicauda - Stella serpentina liscia - www.intotheblue.it
Brittle starfish – Ophioderma longicauda – Stella serpentina liscia – www.intotheblue.it

Let’s remember that starfish are very sensitive to changes in pressure and temperature, so you absolutely must not remove them from the water, as this could lead to the animal suffering an embolism which could damage it or cause it to die. Although embolism is not the main cause of death, it must be remembered that this behavior causes them strong stress and the change in temperature from the sea to the bucket of a boy or girl is certainly not a good lesson regarding respect for the sea and its inhabitants.

Brittle starfish - Ophioderma longicauda - Stella serpentina liscia - www.intotheblue.it
Brittle starfish – Ophioderma longicauda – Stella serpentina liscia – www.intotheblue.it

So let’s teach our sons and daughters, first of all, to swim and then to take a mask and snorkel to observe marine species in their natural environment, without “fishing” with a net for starfish, crabs, urchins and anything else to boil them in a plastic bucket.

Ophioderma longicauda, ​​known as Brittle serpentine starfish, is a species of Echinodermata of the Ophiodermatidae family.

Habitat and distribution
Common in the Mediterranean Sea and the eastern Atlantic Ocean, from Great Britain to Angola and the Azores, on mobile, rocky seabeds or in Posidonia oceanica meadows from a few meters to over 100 meters deep.

Description
Very variable colour, from red to dark brown, almost black, sometimes orange for deep specimens.

Behavior
It is a sciaphilous species, which prefers to take refuge in cracks or ravines in rocks, even very quickly if annoyed.

https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ophioderma_longicauda

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