New record of brittle star from south eastern Arabian Sea

Ophiacantha dallasii, dorsal view
Ophiacantha dallasii, ventral view of disc

Phylum: Echinodermata

Class: Ophiuroidea Gray, 1840

Order: Ophiurida Müller & Troschel, 1840

Family: Ophiacanthidae Ljungman, 1867

Ophiacantha dallasii Duncan, 1879

Collection: SE Arabian Sea, off Cape Comorin, 49 m. Cape Comorin – 8° 8.634′ N, 77° 9.403′ E, 49 m, 9.12.2013 (FORVSS 321, St. 13). Naturalist dredge.

Voucher No.: CMLRE IO/SS/ECD/00121 (FORV Referral Centre, CMLRE, Kochi)

Description: Disc diameter 3 mm, disc covered above and below by short trifid stumps, more or less obscuring radial shields. Oral shields roughly triangular with a rounded distal margin; adoral shields larger than oral shields, with distal prolongations which extend beyond the lateral margins of the oral shields; three oral papillae on each side, the outer one larger, but less than twice as wide as long. Arm distinctly moniliform. Small spiniform tentacle scales on basal arm segments. Up to 7 arm spines; on the second free arm segment, spines from either side contiguous, and dorsal row of spines more than twice as long as other spines. Colour greyish white.

Biological association: Specimens collected in association with a gorgonid.


Distribution: SW Africa (Mozambique), SE Arabian Sea, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, N & NW Australia, Malay Archipelago, South China Sea, Philippines, New Caledonia, Fiji.

Distribution map:

Map showing locations of previous records (circle) and present record from Indian waters (square) of Ophiacantha dallasii

Identified by: Parameswaran, Usha V.

Publication: Parameswaran U. V., V. N. Sanjeevan, Abdul Jaleel K. U., Vinu Jacob, Aiswarya Gopal, Anil Kumar V., M. Sudhakar (2017) An updated checklist of echinoderms of the South Eastern Arabian Sea, Marine Biodiversity. DOI: 10.1007/s12526-017-0732-1.

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