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Ophiodaphne scripta (Ophiuroidea: Amphiuridae), a brittle star exhibiting sexual dimorphism and epibiosis: first record from India, with notes on adaptations, systematics and distribution
Parameswaran, U.V.; Jaleel, K.U.; Sanjeevan, V.N. (2013). Ophiodaphne scripta (Ophiuroidea: Amphiuridae), a brittle star exhibiting sexual dimorphism and epibiosis: first record from India, with notes on adaptations, systematics and distribution. Mar. Biodiv. 43(4): 333-339 . hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s12526-013-0160-9
In: Marine Biodiversity. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 1867-1616, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Distribution; Epibiosis; Morphology; Sexual dimorphism; Systematics; Ophiodaphne Koehler, 1930 [WoRMS]; Ophiodaphne formata (Koehler, 1905) [WoRMS]; Ophiodaphne scripta (Koehler, 1904) [WoRMS]; Ophiuroidea [WoRMS]; India [Marine Regions]; Marine
Author keywords
    Ophiodaphne scripta; Ophiodaphne; Ophiodaphne formata

Authors  Top 
  • Parameswaran, U.V.
  • Jaleel, K.U.
  • Sanjeevan, V.N.

Abstract
    Ophiodaphne scripta (Koehler, 1904) is an amphiurid brittle star exhibiting an unusual form of conspicuous sexual dimorphism and epibiosis. The males are much smaller and exist as epibionts on the larger female. These male–female pairs, attached mouth-to-mouth, are in turn epibionts on cake urchins such as Echinodiscus auritus Leske, 1778, attaching themselves via the aboral side of the female. In this paper, Ophiodaphne scripta (Koehler, 1904) is reported from off the southern Indian peninsula for the first time, extending the range of this species eastwards. The distribution of this species is discussed in conjunction with that of the only other species in this genus, Ophiodaphne formata (Koehler, 1905), which also exhibits similar sexual dimorphism and epibiotic behavior. A detailed description of the specimens from India is provided, along with adaptations to their peculiar lifestyle. In addition, a brief historical review of the systematics of the genus Ophiodaphne Koehler, 1930 is presented, pointing out some discrepancies which persist, despite numerous revisions.

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