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Brittle stars (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea) associated with the octocoral Carijoa riisei (Cnidaria: Anthozoa) from the littoral of Pernambuco, Brazil
Neves, B.M.; Lima, E.J.B.; Pérez, C.D. (2007). Brittle stars (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea) associated with the octocoral Carijoa riisei (Cnidaria: Anthozoa) from the littoral of Pernambuco, Brazil. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 87(5): 1263-1267.
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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  • Neves, B.M.
  • Lima, E.J.B.
  • Pérez, C.D.

    The present work records for the first time the association between ophiuroids and the octocoral Carijoa riisei. Carijoa riisei is a colonial octocoral very abundant in the littoral of Pernambuco (Brazil), with growth by creeping stolons with an arborescent structure creating an optimal environment for epibionts. The objectives of the work were to identify the species of Ophiuroidea associated with C. riisei, and to verify the existence of seasonality through the density, abundance and frequency of sampled taxa. Due to the known relationship between the ophiuroids and sponges related in the literature, the sponges founded associated with C. riisei were recorded. Seasonal samples of the beaches of Porto de Galinhas and Guadalupe were realized. In Guadalupe, 39 and 21 ophiuroids (dry and rainy seasons respectively) belonging to the families Ophiactidae (Ophiactis savignyi, Ophiactis lymani) and Ophiotrichidae (Ophiotrhix angulata) were identified. Ophiactis savignyi stood out in all the analysed stations (48.72% in dry season and 52.38% in rainy season). The average density of the ophiuroids was 10.74 ind/100 g of C. riisei, varying from 12.56 ind/100 g in the dry season to 8.92 ind/100 g, in the rainy season. Amongst the species of ophiuroids recorded in the samples, O. savignyi showed 80% and 100% frequency of occurrence in the dry and the rainy seasons, respectively, and O. lymani showed 80% during the dry season. The presence of O. lymani in Guadalupe constitutes the first record in Pernambuco state. Taking into account that all the ophiuroids collected in Guadalupe were considered juveniles (1-3 mm of disc diameter), the microhabitat created by C. riisei may be utilized as a recruitment place for some ophiuroids. No ophiuroids were found at Porto de Galinhas beach, just as for sponges. On the other hand, the ophiuroids were always found with sponges in Guadalupe beach. For this reason, the ecological relation of the ophiuroids with C. riisei could be observed as an occasional relation, in the way that the octocoral supplies a support structure to the growth of the many sponges that have given a favourable habitat to shelter ophiuroids.

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