Harlequin serpent stars, Ophioderma appressum, is the less fancy starfish in comparison to the Harlequin Starfish. We believe they are the same species but one has not developed as elaborate colors. There is quite a bit of color variation in this species, but we try to stick with the ones that look like the one in the picture with white and dark gray-banded legs. The average size we see have a body that is about the size of an average shirt button, but they can be as large as dime sized. The legs are usually about 2 to 3 inches long, and about the diameter of a cooked spaghetti noodle.
These serpents are real easy to take care of and really require no special care at all. They will usually be hiding under rocks during the day, but as soon as you put food in the water they will come out and actively feel around for food. These starfish will eat anything that gets past your fish, shrimp, and crabs, and they’re especially good at finding all those lost food particles that fall behind and under the rocks, so you don’t have to worry about stray bits of food fouling the water. They also respond well to directed feeding if you’re inclined to do that, but it isn’t necessary in most cases.