Ophiacanthidae Ljungman, 1867

Martynov, Alexander, 2010, Reassessment of the classification of the Ophiuroidea (Echinodermata), based on morphological characters. I. General character evaluation and delineation of the families Ophiomyxidae and Ophiacanthidae 2697, Zootaxa 2697, pp. 1-154: 137-138

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Ophiacanthidae Ljungman, 1867


Family Ophiacanthidae Ljungman, 1867  

Diagnosis. Disk usually covered with numerous small scales and numerous spinelets, but in some taxa (e.g. Ophiotoma   ) the skin is conspicuous. Radial shields are large, exposed or concealed by disc scales, usually occupied a considerable part of the disk. Genital plates in all taxa are well developed, the abradial plate is always present. Articulation surface of the adradial genital plate with a more or less elevated, often elongated condyle, evident in most taxa. Articulation surface of the radial shield in some taxa with a rather inconspicuous elevation, whereas in others (e.g. Ophiocamax   ) with a compact condyle. Oral papillae usually somewhat flattened and rounded. Apical papilla (ventralmost tooth) typically single, wide and massive, but in some taxa there is a cluster of papillae ( Ophiocamax   ). Dorsal teeth are also in most cases massive and placed one after the other (including Ophiocamax   ). Dental plate entire and in most cases with elongated nonperforating sockets (including Ophiotoma   ). Jaws typically relatively short. Adoral shields relatively short, but in some genera distally wing-like widened (e.g. Ophiotoma   ). Oral shield variable in size. Dorsal arm plates always well defined. Arm spine articulations always distinctly volute-shaped appearance and with sigmoidal fold, even in reduced (including Ophiomoeris   , Ophiochondrus   , Ophiolebes   ) or somewhat modified variants (e.g. Ophiocamax   ) and in all taxa they are of the double-opening type. Arm spines in most taxa with distinct compact ventral condyle, articulating with the volute-shaped lobe. Vertebrae in most taxa probably with zygospondylous articulation (including Ophiotoma   , Ophiolimna   , some Ophiacantha species   ), but in Ophiocamax   , some Ophiacantha species   , Ophiomoeris   the articulation is streptospondylous.

The family includes the genera: Ophiacantha Müller & Troschel, 1842   , Ophiacanthella Verrill, 1899   , Ophiochondrus Lyman, 1869   , Ophialcaea Verrill, 1899   , Ophientrema Verrill, 1899   , Ophiocamax Lyman, 1878   , Ophiochondrus Lyman, 1869   , Ophiocopa Lyman, 1883   ; Ophiodictys Koehler, 1922   , Ophiogema Koehler, 1922   , Ophiohamus O’Hara & Stöhr, 2006   , Ophiolebes Lyman, 1878   , Ophiolimna Verrill, 1899   , Ophiomedea Koehler, 1906   , Ophiomitra Lyman, 1869   , Ophiomitrella Verrill, 1899   , Ophiomoeris Koehler, 1904   , “ Ophiophthalmus   ” Matsumoto, 1917 (see Paterson, 1985 for discussion of the nomenclature of the genus Ophiophthlamus), Ophioplinthaca Verrill, 1899   , Ophiopristis Verrill, 1899   , Ophioripa Koehler, 1922   , Ophiurothamnus Matsumoto, 1917   , Ophiosemnotes Matsumoto, 1917   ; Ophiotoma Lyman, 1883   , Ophiotreta Verrill, 1899   .

The following genera Glaciacantha Fell, 1961   , Microphiura Mortensen, 1911   , Ophienigma Stöhr & Segonzac, 2005   , Ophiochytra Lyman, 1880   , Ophiohelus Lyman, 1878   , Ophiolamina Stöhr & Segonzac, 2006   , Ophiomyces Lyman, 1869   , Ophioparva Guille, 1982   , Ophiothauma H.L. Clark, 1938   , Ophiotholia Lyman, 1880   traditionally included into the family Ophiacanthidae   according to author’s published ( Martynov 2010) and unpublished data belong to another ophiuroid families. Their detailed desriptions and exact systematic position will be subject of the following papers of the present series.