species: Macrophiothrix caenosa in Lizard Island Field Guide (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Macrophiothrix caenosa

©Anne Hoggett: Macrophiothrix caenosa at Lizard Island, removed from under rubble. Disc diameter is about 12 mm, arms at least 20 cm long.

©Anne Hoggett: Underside of disc of Macrophiothrix caenosa at Lizard Island.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Echinodermata
Class Ophiuroidea
Order Ophiurida
Family Ophiotrichidae
Genus Macrophiothrix
Species Macrophiothrix caenosa



Distinguishing features

Macrophiothrix species are difficult to distinguish in the field because microscopic examination of characters is necessary. Most species in the genus are large (disc diameter can be more than 20 mm), have very long arms, and live on soft sediment under slabs of rubble.

Macrophiothrix caenosa has wide trapezium-shaped dorsal arm plates and short stumps covering the dorsal disc surface, including on the five pairs of large radial shields. On the ventral surface, stumps do not reach the genital slits bordering the arms.


  • Size data has not been obtained.

Depth range

  • Depth range data is not yet available.


Similar taxa


©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Web resources


References that assist with identification

  • Hoggett, A.K. (2006). A new species of Macrophiothrix (Ophiuroidea: Ophiotrichidae) common in northern Australia, Zootaxa, 1326: 17-24. LIRS catalog number 979.

Other references

  • Allen, J.D. (2005). Life-history evolution and the costs of small egg size in echinoderms, Ph.D. thesis, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. LIRS catalog number 940.
  • Allen, J. and R. Podolsky (2007). Uncommon diversity in developmental mode and larval form in the genus Macrophiothrix (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea), Marine Biology, 151: 85-97. LIRS catalog number 998.
  • View all references