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Skeletal characters for identification of juvenile Ophiactis resiliens and Amphiura constricta (Echinodermata): cryptic ophiuroids in coralline turf habitat
Falkner, I.; Byrne, M. (2006). Skeletal characters for identification of juvenile Ophiactis resiliens and Amphiura constricta (Echinodermata): cryptic ophiuroids in coralline turf habitat. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 86(5): 1199-1207
In: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Cambridge University Press/Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom: Cambridge. ISSN 0025-3154, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Animal morphology; Developmental stages; Growth rate; Identification; Mouth parts; Skeleton; Amphiura constricta Lyman, 1879 [WoRMS]; Ophiactis resiliens Lyman, 1879 [WoRMS]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Falkner, I.
  • Byrne, M.

Abstract
    Skeletal development of Ophiactis resiliens and Amphiura constricta was examined to determine characters that could be used to identify the juveniles of these species, which co-occur in algal turf habitat. Juvenile O. resiliens recruit to turf after a planktonic larval stage while A. constricta recruit through release from brooding adults. Skeletal development in O. resiliens and A. constricta is typical of most ophiuroids with diagnostic adult characters taking some time to appear. The main characters that can be used to distinguish the two species from an early stage are the number and arrangement of the oral papillae and the presence of disc spines. In O. resiliens diagnostic adult skeletal characters developed at 1.5 mm disc diameter. In A. constricta most identifying adult characters were evident at 700 µm disc diameter. Identification of juvenile O. resiliens is assisted by the presence of disc spines and thorny arm spines, features that disappear as the juveniles grow. Juvenile A. constricta did not develop disc spines or thorns on the arm spines.

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