Harlequin serpent stars, Ophioderma appressum, are very attractive starfish that are suitable for any reef tank, including nano reef tanks. 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 seel 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. If you’re looking for a tiny one for a nano tank, just mention it when you order and we’ll send a smaller one.
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.
Jeffrey (verified owner) –
Beautiful little critter that never bothers anything. Had mine for about a month now and its grown a lot. Unfortunately mine is a little more shy than most of the reviewers but when he does come out and make an appearance its a treat. Arrived healthy and active due to great shipping from KP.
Lisa Schwamkrug –
This little guy came in expertly packed and lively. He scurried off to a cave in the rocks after I acclimated him, and he is such a pig! He is always out at feeding time, and he has already grown in the week I’ve had him! Excellent scavenger cleaning up extra food. He sits in the rocks with his arms waving about most of the day.
Richard Andres –
This star looks exactly as depicted! A great find! Often times “harlequin” serpent stars you see are the drab brown with dark brown bands. The true, bold black and white banded serpent stars are much harder to find, one of my favorite stars! If they are still availible during my next order, I plan on getting another. You can not go wrong with anything on this site!
Jonathan Humphreys –
I can’t say enough great things about these starfish. Unlike “traditional” (non-serpent) starfish, these are just crazy-hardy. Mine survived a massive poisoning of my tank that killed off about 3/4 of my inverts. He lost two legs in the process, but bounced right back and has since regrown to pristine condition. These guys will hide under a rock, but will come out whenever there’s food in the water. They also wander around the tank at night and are quite interactive and not nearly as cryptic as most serpent stars. They’re a real benefit to your tank, as well – eating any leftover food (and thus keeping your nitrates lower). I should also mention that they’re no threat to other inverts at all. Mine lived for a long time alongside ornamental clams and sand-bed clams, never bothering them. He never even touched my tiny anemone shrimp (Thor sp.). At this price, these are an absolute steal. Do yourself a favor and add one of these to your tank!
Diana Graves –
Great starfish! Very unique and is my favorite. Strong and hardy. You will be happy you found these guys. Adds that extra special touch to your tank, not to mention how fun it is to watch them come out each time you are feeding your tank. Trust me, you will be glad to have this addition. A very modern look in a starfish!
Red Angel –
Hes a cutie, great color, kids think hes cool, looks great in my tank seems to have found a home under one of my front rocks
John Mauser –
Beautiful little starfish. Very curious…comes out to see what is going on in the tank whenever something happens. You never know where he’s going to pop up next!