Ophiopeza fallax, Peters, 1851, Peters, 1851

Boissin, Emilie, Hoareau, Thierry B., Paulay, Gustav & Bruggemann, J. Henrich, 2016, Shallow-water reef ophiuroids (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea) of Réunion (Mascarene Islands), with biogeographic considerations, Zootaxa 4098 (2), pp. 273-297: 287

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Ophiopeza fallax


O phiopeza fallax   PETERS, 1851 complex

(UF- 6521, Fig. 5 View FIGURE 5 a, KC 760045 View Materials )

Material. 2 spms, St. 3; 2 spms, St. 7

Remarks. The granules covering the disc and the radial shields indicate the specimens match the nominal subspecies, O. fallax fallax   morphologically, rather than O. fallax arabica   , which has some bare disc plates and bare radial shields. The disc is brownish-beige, with some pink or red patches and black dots. The third dorsal arm plate on each arm is dark red, as was noticed on specimens from Mauritius by de Loriol (1893 a). O. fallax   can easily be distinguished from O. exilis   by the shape of the dorsal arm plates (broad and rectangular in O. exilis   and fan-shaped in O. fallax   ) and the number of spines (5 in O. exilis   , up to 12 in O. fallax   ). O. kingi   also has fewer arm spines (up to 8-9) and longer arms (> 5 x DD) ( Devaney, 1974), compared with arms 3- 4 x DD in O. fallax   . COI sequence data shows deep genetic differentiation between two lineages that are both attributable to O. f. fallax   morphologically. Both occur in the SWIO, but only one has been encountered at Réunion (Hoareau et al. 2013). Ophiopeza fallax   clearly needs an overview with genetic data; for the present we recognize O. fallax   as a potential species complex. Abundance: 1.

Distribution. Widespread across the IWP from East Africa & Madagascar, Mascarene Islands, Persian Gulf, East Indies to the Philippines. The species was already reported from Mauritius (de Loriol 1893 a) and Réunion ( Guille & Ribes 1981).

a) Ophiopeza fallax   ; b) Ophiopeza spinosa   ; c) Ophiarachnella gorgonia   ; d) Ophiarachnella gorgonia   oral side; e) Ophiarachnella septemspinosa   ; f) Ophioplocus imbricatus   ; g) Ophiolepis cincta   complex sp. 1; h) Ophiolepis cincta   complex sp. 2; i) Ophiolepis superba   .


University of Coimbra Botany Department