• Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Echinodermata
  • Subphylum: Asterozoa
  • Class: Ophiuroidea
  • Order: Ophiurida
  • Suborder: Ophiurina
  • Family: Ophiotrichidae
  • Scientific name: Ophiothrix fragilis
  • Norwegian: hårstjerne, skjørslangestjerne


The common brittle has a hairy appearance, due to all the fine spines, seven on each arm segment. There are also spines on the central disk. It comes in a wide range of colors like green, brown, orange, yellow or red. The disk may reach a diameter of 2 cm and the five arms a length of 10 cm.


It can be found hard substrate, sand or gravel from the subtidal zone and down to 350 meters.


It is widespread in the East Atlantic Ocean, from Lofoten, Norway to West Africa.