The Snake Sea Stars are a large family of sea stars, named after the slender members of the genus Ophidiaster, which have snake-like arms. They are found in abundance at all of the sites during our Koh Lanta dive trips.
Many species are brightly coloured and patterned, mimicking the appearance of other marine animals which may be poisonous or dangerous for protection.
Snake Sea Stars have several rows of tube feet on their underside which can be used for movement, sensing their environment, and detecting food.
These sea stars may be found on coral or rock reefs, and over and within sand substrate, and are a common sight at all dive sites around Koh Lanta.
They feed on algae, carrion, detritus, coral mucous, microorganisms and sponges. In turn they are preyed upon by crabs, fish, gastropods, and shrimp.
Some species have remarkable powers of regeneration, allowing them to shed and regrow arms, or reproduce by shedding an arm which then generate a new disc and arms to form a new individual.
The Linckia genus, which we find at all dive sites around Koh Lanta, is prayed upon by Harlequin Shrimp (Hymenocera picta) and can completely regrow lost limbs.