First record of serpent star from the Northern Indian Ocean

Astrothorax waitei

Phylum: Echinodermata

Class: Ophiuroidea Gray, 1840

Order: Euryalida Lamarck, 1816

Family: Gorgonocephalidae Ljungman, 1867

Astrothorax waitei (Benham, 1909)

Collection: Eastern Arabian Sea — Off Karwar, 14° 29.02’ N, 73° 02.28’ E, 957 m (FORVSS372, St.05), 28.02.2018, demersal trawl; 14° 29.02’ N, 73° 01.52’ E, 953 m (FORVSS374, St.10), 09.04.2018, demersal trawl.

Voucher No.: CMLRE IO/SS/ECD/00257, 00258, 00259.

Description: Disc margins excavate interradially, arm simple with strong tendency for vertical coiling. Disc scales on the dorsal side composed of small, polygonal and flattened scales interspersed with larger, tumid, flat-topped or conical tubercles, usually bearing short spinules on the apex; the tumid tubercles more densely packed on the radial shields. Ventral teeth long, pointed and numerous, arranged in a cluster; long, pointed papillae along the latero-ventral margin of the jaw. Girdle bands on arms beginning at the disc margin, extending down the lateral sides of the arms. Arm spines beginning on second segment; 2–6 in number, subequal, cylindrical spines with numerous glassy points; on distal segments reduced to ~2 flat hooks with a strong primary tooth and short secondary tooth.   

Biological association: None.

Remarks: None.

Distribution: India: eastern Arabian Sea, Australia, Indonesia, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Norfolk Ridge, New Zealand; 70–1700 m.

Distribution map:


Identified by: Usha V. Parameswaran

Publication: Parameswaran U. V., Gopal A., Abdul Jaleel K. U., Saravanane N. 2021. Nine new records of brittle stars (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea) from Indian waters. Marine Biology Research, 17(5-6): 434-453. DOI: 10.1080/17451000.2021.1967995.

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