Serpent Starfish (Ophiolepsis sp.)
Max Size: 1 foot 2 inches
Reef Compatible: Yes
Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons
The Serpent Sea Star boasts a sleek physique and striking coloration. Unlike typical starfish found in home aquariums, the Ophiolepsis superba has long, almost spindly arms radiating from its central disc. Its arms are adorned with bands of brown and red, giving it a unique and beautiful appearance. Additionally, this sea star has a hearty appetite and can quickly consume any uneaten meaty food it finds scattered in your aquarium.
Originally from reefs around the world, the Serpent Sea Star is also referred to as the Banded Serpent or Banded Brittle Starfish. In your home aquarium, it will thrive with ample hiding places and enough space to freely move around. Due to its potential size of up to 1 foot in diameter from arm tip to arm tip, it is best suited for larger aquarium systems.
Though primarily nocturnal, the Serpent Sea Star may eventually adjust to coming out during the day to eat. It may become sluggish if nitrate levels in the water are too high. To keep it well-fed, offer small pieces of chopped meat, shrimp, mussel, or fish.
Like other invertebrates, the Serpent Sea Star is very sensitive to abrupt changes in oxygen levels, salinity, and pH of the water. It cannot tolerate copper-based medications. To ensure a smooth acclimation, use the drip acclimation method for all Sea Stars and take care never to expose the Fancy Tiger-Striped Serpent Sea Star to air during handling.
Breeding the Serpent Sea Star in an aquarium is extremely challenging, as there are no distinguishing characteristics to differentiate between males and females.