Microphiopholis Turner, 1985,

Alitto, Renata A. S., Bueno, Maristela L., Guilherme, Pablo D. B., Domenico, Maikon Di, Christensen, Ana Beardsley & Borges, Mic, 2018, Shallow-water brittle stars (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea) from Araçá Bay (Southeastern Brazil), with spatial distribution considerations, Zootaxa 4405 (1), pp. 1-66: 35

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Microphiopholis Turner, 1985


Genus Microphiopholis Turner, 1985 

Type taxon. Microphiopholis atra ( Stimpson, 1852)  , originally described as Ophiolepis atra  .

Diagnosis. Disc covered by small scales, even smaller on ventral interradius. Two lateral oral papillae, distal larger and wider than the proximal. Dorsal and ventral arm plates form overlapping series. Two tentacle scales, the one attached to the ventral arm plate rather wide. Three to five arm spines, slender and pointed ( Thomas 1966; Tommasi 1970; Turner 1985).

Comments. Microphiopholis  was suggested by Turner (1985) to replace Micropholis  , formerly assigned by Thomas (1966). In accordance with International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, a replacement name was required because more than a century earlier, Micropholis  was used for an amphibian taxon ( Turner 1985). Microphiopholis  is distinguished from Amphipholis  by the presence of much finer scales on the disc, which explains its name ( Thomas 1966; Turner 1985). These authors suggest that only Microphiopholis  has a perforation in the arm vertebrae. Because this feature was also observed in other species of amphiurids and ophiotrichids ( Irimura & Fujita 2003), we do not consider this character in our diagnosis. Microphiopholis  presently includes six species ( Stöhr et al. 2016) with three of them recorded from Brazil ( Barboza & Borges 2012): M. atra ( Stimpson, 1852)  , M. gracillima ( Stimpson, 1852)  and M. subtilis ( Ljungman, 1867)  .