The Rosette-Scaled Brittle Star (Ophiolepis elegans) is a marine (saltwater) invertebrate in the Ophiuridae family of brittle sea stars (starfish).
The Rosette-Scaled Brittle Star has a round disc with five narrow arms radiating from the disc. Its arms are brownish with dark bands. The upperside of the disc has scales in a rosette pattern. There are two large scales on each side of its arms and a column of scales between each pair of arms. It has spines on its arms. The underside disc is where the mouth is located. It is light-beige in colour. Its mouth has jaws.
It grows up to 19 centimetres (7-8 inches) in arm span. Its disc grows up to 2.5 centimetres (one inch) wide.
It is found in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. It prefers gulfs and bays where it is sheltered. It likes the sea floor to contain shells, sand, or mud so that it can hide in the soft bottom.
Location of photographs: Aquarium de Paris-Cinéaqua, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM