In this article we will discuss about the structure of Opheolepis with the help of a diagram.
1. It is commonly known as “brittle star” and is found in shallow waters. It is usually of green colour.
2. Body comprises of a distinct and some what rounded disc and five narrow, flexible jointed and slender arms radiating from it.
3. Animal has a distinct oral and an aboral surface.
4. Disc, on the aboral surface, bears a large protuberance (papillae) in the centre surrounded by 5 medium sized radial protuberances, which, in-turn, are surrounded by smaller papillae. There are also present 5 pairs of adradial papillae on the periphery.
5. Oral surface of the disc bears a pentaradiate mouth in the centre which is surrounded by large oral papillae and numerous closely set granules.
6. Arms, on the aboral surface, bear a median row of large radial shields and peripheral rows of small, irregular scales with numerous small inter-sperced spines.
7. Sexes are separate and genital bursae four in each inter-radius.
8. AmbulacraI grooves, pedicillariae, branchiae and dermal papillae are absent.
9. The oral surface of each arm bears small tube feets.