Ophiolepis superba

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 : 290

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Ophiolepis superba


Ophiolepis superba   H.L CLARK, 1915

(UF- 6544, Fig. 5 View FIGURE 5 i, KU 594359 View Materials )

Material. 3 spms, St. 7

Remarks. A large harlequin-patterned Ophiolepis   with alternating darker beige/pale brown with red/brown banding on the arms and dark star-like patch on the disc extending outwards in each interradius. This is a conspicuous and unmistakeable species because of its colour pattern, much larger than O. cincta   complex, with supplementary plates on disc and arms not arranged as neatly as in O. cincta   , and with radial shields, larger and more conspicuous than the disc plates. COI sequence data indicates that SWIO populations are deeply divergent from populations in the Pacific (Boissin et al. in revision). The Indian Ocean population corresponds to the nominal species as the type locality is Ceylon. Abundance: 1.

Distribution. Widespread across the IWP ( Clark & Rowe 1971); previously reported from Mauritius (de Loriol 1893 a) and Réunion ( Vadon & Guille 1984).


Dr. Charles F. and Wilhelmina Husser Clark Herbarium


University of Coimbra Botany Department