This is a small brittlestar that can be found on the coast of Europe and
the west coast of Africa. The common brittle star is a nocturnal animal, that feeds on phytoplankton.
It has a cryptic live and hide in crevices and in the sand of the North sea.
Its has many predators like heremite crabs, starfish, like the common starfish, and flat fish.
The arms can become one decimeter long, the central disk measures 2 cm.
These arms of the brittle stars are rather liable to break. It can happen when the
brittle star is catched by a crab. The crab feeds on the broken arm, the brittle star escapes.
Those missing arms regenerate quickly, it takes about one year.
common brittle star found on the beach
The brittle star can sometimes be found after a stormy period on the beaches.
Cold wheather will decimate the population of those brittle stars that live near the coast in shallow waters.
Three brittle stars on the beach:
Brittle stasr are bad swimmers, they only show when disturbed, and only for a short distance,
They have the abilty to quickly turn around when Thrown over by the waves.
Common brittle stars come in almost every color, like red , brown and white, also banded.
distribution of the common brittle star.
The common brittle star lives near the coast of Europe and West Africa. They also live in the Baltic sea,
even in the North , were the water contains almost no salt.
Most of the common brittle stars live to deep to be easely seen by humans, up to 200 meter below sealevel.
A free floating larve of the brittle star. An illustration of Meyers Lexikon., 1897.