Well, we found one last weekend, but soon after Eric noticed a second brittle star and he knew right away that it looked a little different. I snapped a quick picture of the two brittle stars side-by-side. In the photo below, the Glass-spined Brittle Star is on the right. Look for differences in the overall color; the patterns of banding along the arms; and the spines:
Eric managed to get a much better close-up of the second brittle star:
Meet the Flat-spined Brittle Star (Ophiopteris papillosa)! Now you can see the distinctive arm spines — opaque brown, smooth, with blunt (rounded) tips.
And lucky for us, Eric also filmed this brittle star in action. Here's a short video clip. Watch for the very active tube feet (below the spines). Many brittle stars move by "rowing" with their arms. Although this species uses its arms, you'll see that its tube feet also play an important role in locomotion. [If you can't see the video clip below, click on the title of the post above to go directly to the website.]