First record of brittle star from Indian waters

Ophiocoma cynthiae

Phylum: Echinodermata

Class: Ophiuroidea Gray, 1840

Order: Ophiacanthida O’Hara, Hugall, Thuy, Stöhr & Martynov, 2017

Family: Ophiocomidae Ljungman, 1867

Ophiocoma cynthiae Benavides-Serrato & O’Hara, 2008

Collection: Agatti Island — intertidal, eastern side (10° 50.73’ N, 72° 11.35’ E), coll. U. Parameswaran on 05.11.2018 by hand; Kavaratti Island — intertidal, eastern side (10° 30.18” N, 72° 27.06’ E), coll. M. Nowshad on 28.11.2018.

Voucher No.: CMLRE IO/SS/ECD/00229, 00230

Description: Disc and arms uniformly dark to black, with dull brown in tube feet and absence of granulation on the ventral side of the disc.

Biological association: Common species in the intertidal areas, hiding under coral boulders during day time.

Remarks: Ophiocoma cynthiae was separated from O. erinaceus Müller & Troschel, 1842 by Benavides-Serrato & O’Hara (2008) based on molecular evidence (O’Hara et al. 2004). Previous reports of O. erinaceus from Lakshadweep may actually represent records of O. cynthiae.

Distribution: Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Comoros, Reunion, India (Lakshadweep), Papua New Guinea, Australia, New Caledonia, Fiji, Micronesia, Philippines, Taiwan, Japan; intertidal-26m

Distribution map:


Identified by: Usha V. Parameswaran

Publication: Parameswaran U. V., Mohammed Noushad B., Dixit S., Hashim M., Idrees Babu K. K., Saravanane N. 2020. New records of brittle stars (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea) from the Lakshadweep atolls, northern Indian Ocean, with notes on Indophioderma ganapatii Sastry, Marimuthu & Rajan, 2019. Zootaxa, 4809(3):560-570. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4809.3.9.

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