Ophioderma appressa (Say, 1825),

Gondim, Anne I., Alonso, Carmen, Dias, Thelma L. P., Manso, Cynthia L. C. & Christoffersen, Martin L., 2013, A taxonomic guide to the brittle-stars (Echinodermata, Ophiuroidea) from the State of Paraiba continental shelf, Northeastern Brazil, ZooKeys 307, pp. 45-96: 68

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Ophioderma appressa (Say, 1825)


Ophioderma appressa (Say, 1825)  Figure 13 a–e, 14f


Disk circular to pentagonal (dd = 4.18 to 7.89 mm), covered by small granules (Fig. 13a). Radial shields oval and covered with granules (Fig. 13a). Ventral interradius covered by similar granules. Four short bursal slits (Fig. 13b). Oral shields oval (Fig. 13c). Adoral shields broadened laterally, not covered by granules (Fig. 13c). Seven or eight oral papillae on each side of jaw angle (Fig. 13c), the three proximal ones small and elongated the last one narrow and partially covered by the previous papilla. Single apical papillae. Dorsal arm plate longer than wide, with distal margin rounded (Fig. 13e). Seven small, compressed, arm spines, the ventralmost one partially covered by outer tentacle scale. Two tentacle scales, the inner one longest (Fig. 13d).


Western Atlantic from Bermuda, South Carolina, the islands off southern Florida, Texas offshore reefs, the Bahamas, the Antilles, Mexican Caribbean, Belize, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, islands off Caribbean Colombia, Venezuela, and Brazil ( Tommasi 1970, Hendler et al. 1995, Chavarro et al. 2004, Durán-Gonzáles et al. 2005, Alvarado et al. 2008). In Brazil from Paraíba, Pernambuco ( Rathbun 1879), Alagoas ( Miranda et al. 2012), Bahia ( Rathbun 1879), Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo ( Tommasi 1970). Intertidal to 364 m deep. Recorded from 10 to 35 m in the present account.


This cryptic species lives in reef environments, seagrass beds, on gravel and coral rubble. Usually found together with other ophiuroids, such as Ophioderma cinerea  , Ophiocoma echinata  , and Ophiocoma wendtii  ( Hendler et al. 1995). According to Hendler et al. (1995), records from the East Atlantic are based on misidentified specimens. This species presumably has a vitellaria larva ( Hendler 1979b, Hendler and Littman 1986). It is variable both in color and in morphology ( Hendler et al. 1995). Among the variable characters are the number of arms pines, that may vary from 7 to 10 spines; Ziesenhenne (1955) observed specimens with 9 to 10 arm spines.