Wendt's Brittle Star
Ophiocoma wendtii
Arm length to 18cm

Blackish to red-brown. Disc covered in granules. 
Leaflike tips on the uppermost arm spines. Juveniles have a brown disc with orange legs.

Its arms are covered with calcite crystals. In addition to functioning as an armor and giving structural support, the crystals make up its unique visual systems. They minimize spherical aberration and can detect the direction of incoming light. The lenses work by filtering and focusing light on an underlying photoreceptor system. Phototropic chromatophores can change O. wendtii's colour and regulate how much light will reach the photoreceptors. Nerve bundles under each lens, presumed to be light-sensitive, transmit the optical information to the rest of the nervous system.

Hides during the day under rocky rubble or in crevaces from 2 to 45ft (0.5-14m). Feeds on detritus and suspended matter..

    Ecological Descriptors
Habitat Size (cm) Diet Behaviour Sex 
Co, R Arms 18 Det, Noct I F
Wendt's Brittle Star
Wendt's Brittle Star