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This small brittle star has a disk diameter of only 0.1 - 0.2 inches, with arms 0.5 - 0.6 inches in length.  Small spines are scattered over the disk surface.  One to three scale-like oral papillae are present.  The arm spines are approximately the same size and number 5 - 6.  Body color ranges from brown to brown-green and cream.  The radial shields are darker than the rest of the disk and generally have a patch of white along the outer tip.  The arms are banded due to the dark markings on distal portions of the arm plates.

Savigny's brittle star is found in many habitats including coral reefs, seagrasses, mangroves, and fouling communities.  It is found in association with algae, corals, sponges, oyster rubble, marine structures, and ship hulls.  Though it is most common in shallow waters, it has been found to depths of 1700 feet.

Savigny's brittle star is highly cosmopolitan and occurs throughout the Indo-Pacific, eastern Pacific, and both sides of the Atlantic.  In the Western Atlantic, it occurs from South Carolina and Bermuda south through Florida, the Bahamas and the Caribbean to Brazil. 

Savigny's brittle star, Ophiactis  savignyi, a small, but cosmopolitan brittle star.  Photo by J. Miller, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution;  courtesy of D. Pawson, National Musuem of Natural History.  Used with permission.   

This small brittle star has been found living among sponges and algae where it may form dense populations of more than 3,000 individuals per liter.