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Brittle stars (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea) from La Réunion and the systematic position of Ophiocanops Koehler, 1922
Stöhr, S.; Conand, C.; Boissin, E. (2008). Brittle stars (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea) from La Réunion and the systematic position of Ophiocanops Koehler, 1922. Zool. J. Linn. Soc. 153(3): 545-560. dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1096-3642.2008.00401.x
In: Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. Academic Press: London. ISSN 0024-4082, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Reefs; Systematics; Ophiocanopidae Mortensen, 1932 [WoRMS]; Ophiocoma L. Agassiz, 1836 [WoRMS]; Ophiocomidae Ljungman, 1867 [WoRMS]; Renetheo felli McKnight, 2003 [WoRMS]; ISW, Indian Ocean [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Stöhr, S., more
  • Conand, C.
  • Boissin, E.

Abstract
    The ophiuroid fauna of La Réunion, Indian Ocean, is still incompletely known. We report 13 different species from coral reefs, including five new records and a probably undescribed species of Amphioplus, which increases the number of ophiuroids known from La Réunion to 25. The most important find consists of three individuals of a previously unknown representative of the genus Ophiocanops. Originally placed in Ophiomyxidae, its systematic position has long been debated, with some authors advocating a placement with the otherwise extinct Palaeozoic Oegophiurida, based on the absence of several skeletal characters. The new species, O. multispina sp. nov., shows intermediate characters between its previously only known congener, O. fugiens, and the ophiomyxid Renetheo felli. The three species appear to represent a line of taxa with progressively reduced skeleton instead of an ancient condition. We propose to transfer Ophiocanops back to the Ophiomyxidae, to synonymize Renetheo with Ophiocanops, and to invalidate the Ophiocanopidae, for which there is no autapomorphy-based support.

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