The Serpent Sea Star has a sleek physical build and stark coloration. In fact, unlike many starfish common to home aquariums, Ophiolepsis sp. has long, almost spindly arms that radiate from its central disc. But what this sea star lacks in arm girth, it more than makes up for in color form and appetite. In fact, the bands of brown and red that dress the Serpent Sea Star arms give this member of the Ophiuridae family a unique beauty. Plus, this voracious carnivore can make quick work of any uneaten meaty food it finds fallen throughout your aquarium.
Native to reefs around the world, the Serpent Sea Star is also known as the Banded Serpent or Banded Brittle Starfish. In the home aquarium, it requires ample hiding places and plenty of room to roam. The Serpent Sea Star, Fancy Tiger Striped is best kept in larger systems, since it can grow to an impressive 1 foot in diameter from arm tip to arm tip.
Even though the Serpent Sea Star is a nocturnal animal, it may eventually learn to come out during the day to eat. It will become sluggish if the nitrate levels are too high. The Fancy Tiger-Striped Serpent Sea Star should be fed small pieces of chopped meat, shrimp, mussel, or fish.
Like other invertebrates, the Serpent Sea Star is very intolerant of sudden changes in oxygen levels, salinity and pH of the water, and cannot tolerate copper-based medications. The drip acclimation method is highly recommended for all Sea Stars due to their intolerance to changes in water chemistry. The Serpent Sea Star should never be exposed to air while handling.
The Serpent Sea Star is extremely difficult to breed in an aquarium with no distinguishing characteristics to help differentiate it from its mate.