Ophiotreta valenciennesi ( Lyman, 1878 ), Lyman, 1878

Stöhr, Sabine, 2011, New records and new species of Ophiuroidea (Echinodermata) from Lifou, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia, Zootaxa 3089, pp. 1-50: 20-21

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http://doi.org/ 10.5281/zenodo.279037

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Ophiotreta valenciennesi ( Lyman, 1878 )


Ophiotreta valenciennesi ( Lyman, 1878)  

Material. Sta. CP 1646: 4 spms.

Remarks. Currently, two subspecies are recognized within O. valenciennesi   , the nominate Indo-Pacific form and the Atlanto-Mediterranean O. valenciennesi rufescens Koehler, 1896   . The differences between these are more rugose disk granules and longer adoral shields in the nominate subspecies ( Paterson 1985). Mortensen (1933 b) observed a large variability in the oral shields of Atlantic specimens, which he referred to rufescens, because he found them different from typical valenciennesi   . This distinction cannot be maintained though, since Pacific specimens fall within the variability of rufescens ( O'Hara & Stöhr 2006, and Lifou material). Given the high variability of several characters it is possible that these forms represent a species complex, but a subspecies distinction cannot be maintained.

The delimitation of Ophiotreta   from Ophiacantha   rests mainly on the usually spatulate shape of the distal oral papilla in Ophiotreta   ( Verrill 1899 b). This character has however also been shown for Ophiacantha bidentata (Bruzelius, 1805)   , the type species of Ophiacantha ( Martynov & Litvinova 2008)   . Another generic character, the flat and serrated arm spines, is shared by Ophiopristis   , of which Ophiotreta   originally was a subgenus (Verrill 1899), and by Ophiocopa   , suggesting possible affinities between these genera, which were placed in three different subfamilies ( Paterson 1985). This may be additional evidence supporting Martynov's (2010 b) decision to drop the subfamilies.