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You are here:   OldClasses > 2012 > Ophioplocus imbricatus | Emma Ceccato




Ophioplocus imbricatus
(Müller & Troschel 1842)

                        Emma Ceccato (2012)



Fact Sheet



Physical Description

Colouration and Markings

Size and Biometrics


Local Description

Micro-habitat and Associations

Life History & Behaviour




Anatomy & Physiology

External Morphology

Internal Anatomy

Evolution & Systematics

Fossil Record

Evolution and Origins

Classification and Systematics

Biogeographic Distribution

Conservation & Threats

References & Links


The cryptic species Ophioplocus imbricatus is a tropical species of brittle star belonging to the group Ophiuroidea within the phylum Echinodermata.The following webpage aims to provide information on the ecology, life history, anatomy, physiology, evolution and distribution of this animal collected off the Southern Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

Within this insight into various aspects of the life history of O.imbricatus, is a comprehensive investigation into the locomotive nature of the brittle star. This study focuses on describing the mode by which it moves, identification of a consistent leading arm used in propulsion and the differences in locomotive ability across sandy and rocky substrates. It was found that O.imbricatus display a 'rowing' mode of locomotion consistent with many other brittle stars of a similar lifestyle as well as evidence of consistency in selection of a lead arm in movement. O.imbricatus travelled competently over sandy substrates although showed minimal movement over rocks with most individuals climbing into crevices upon placement onto the rocks thought to be related to their cryptic nature.

In addition to this investigation into locomotion, a combination of dissections, histological sectioning and biometric data was recorded to provide a comprehensive set of observations in order to detail the life history of this tropical brittle star.



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