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Ophiomyxa pentagona

(Lamarck, 1816)

Cynthia D. Trowbridge We found a brittle star that seemed different than others we had seen for the last 12 years or so in Ireland. Unfortunately we did not get any more photos of it :-( and it was in our no-take sectors so we could not key it out. Could it be Ophiomyxa pentagona? I welcome your thoughts?

Sabine Stöhr Unfortunately, the image is not good enough for an id. It seems to me that it has granules on the disc, rubbed of in a couple of spots. A wild guess would be Ophiocomina nigra with some kind of colour abnormality. Ophiomyxa pentagona is endemic to the Mediterranean in my mind. I would really need to see the mouth parts for a better guess.

Sabine Stöhr O. nigra has an astonishing colour variation from dark brown to orange yellow (Fontaine 1962). See the abstract here http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=4230496

Cynthia D. Trowbridge WOW.... thank you so much for the link. Thank you also for your insightful comments in FB and email :-)

Message posted on Echinoderms of the NE Atlantic on 01 Jan 2013
Animalia (Kingdom)
  Echinodermata (Phylum)
    Asterozoa (Subphylum)
      Ophiuroidea (Class)
        Ophiurida (Order)
          Ophiomyxina (Suborder)
            Ophiomyxidae (Family)
              Ophiomyxa (Genus)
                Ophiomyxa pentagona (Species)
Associated Species