CLASSIFICATION OF OPHIOTHRIX
KINGDOM :- ANIMALIA (Multicellular eukaryotic organisms)
PHYLUM :- ECHINODERMATA (Coelomate, pentaradiate and spiny skinned animals with vascular system.)
SUB-PHYLUM :- ELEUTHEROZOA (Non-pedicellate and free-living.)
CLASS :- OPHIUROIDEA (Central disc and arms distinct.)
ORDER :- OPHIURIDA (Arms bent only to lateral sides.)
FAMILY :- AMPHIURIDAE (Their jaws are always with two apical papillae at the tip, and one or more papillae on each side)
GENUS :- Ophiothrix
HABIT AND HABITAT
Ophiothrix is found in sea shore and in shallow warers. It is microphagus feeding on microbes.
GENERAL CHARACTERSTICS OF OPHIOTHRIX
- Commonly called as Brittle star.
- Ophiothrix reveals considerable variation in spine armature and colour pattern. No two individuals are alike.
- Body divisible into oral and aboral surfaces. Central disc and arms quite distinct.
- Spines on the disc continue round its sites, lateral spines are larger in size. Interradially and on edges of oral surfaces.
- Aboral surface has radial shields in central disc.
- Mouth in oral surface has complicated system of plates, spines and tube feet. Inter-radially buccal shields are present and beneath on lateral position are lateral buccal shield. Around mouth are jaw.
- At the base of each arm are slit like Bursal slit.
- Oral surface reveals each arm is made up of vertebral consisting of lateral plates and ventral plate. Lateral spines, tube foot, jaw and tentacle scale are seen.
- Aboral surface contains dorsal plates.
The animal contains radial shields in aboral surface and all above features hence it is Ophiothrix.