Zoological Studies

Vol. 60, 2021

(update: 2021.03.18; 06.10)

Morphometry and Relative Growth of Ophiolepis crassa (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea), a Brittle Star from the Eastern Pacific

Laura Sanvicente-Añorve1,*, Francisco A. Solís-Marín1, and Itzel Rosales-Contreras2


1Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología. Circuito Exterior S/N, Ciudad Universitaria, C.P. 04510, Mexico City, Mexico. *Correspondence: E-mail: lesa@unam.mx (Sanvicente-Añorve)
2Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Posgrado en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología. Av. Ciudad Universitaria No. 3000, C.P. 04510, Mexico City, Mexico. E-mail: fasolis@cmarl.unam.mx (Solís-Marín); roscongloitz@hotmail.com (Rosales-Contreras)

Received 3 November 2020 / Accepted 7 March 2021
Communicated by Yoko Nozawa

Tropical ophiuroid fauna belonging to the family Ophiolepididae are almost unknown. This study deals with the relative growth and morphometric traits of the ophiuroid Ophiolepis crassa from the Gulf of California, Mexico. Specimens examined in this study came from the Colección Nacional de Equinodermos, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and were collected over soft bottoms off Punta Gorda. Thirteen anatomical features were measured in a total of 152 specimens, including disk diameter, arm length, as well as length and width of dorsal and ventral arm plates, and radial, oral, and adoral shields. Based on the range of values of the disk diameter, varying from 4 to 19 mm, we provided quantitative data on each anatomical measurement considering three size classes. Morphometric data were adjusted to a power equation to detect the degree of allometry in the growth of anatomical traits. Results indicated that all the ventral and dorsal plates, as well as the radial, oral, and adoral shields, suffer changes in shape during growth, but these changes are stronger in the plates. In addition, an analysis of symmetry applied to both right and left radial shields revealed that these structures remain nearly symmetrical during growth. The disk diameter vs arm/disk relationship indicated that the species is a surface dweller inhabitant of the seafloor. This study, based on a single sample collected in a restricted area of the eastern Pacific, provides useful quantitative information for further taxonomic, systematic, or biogeographic studies.

Key words: Allometric relationships, Symmetry, Disk, Microstructures, Gulf of California.

Citation: Sanvicente-Añorve L, Solís-Marín FA, Rosales-Contreras I. 2021. Morphometry and relative growth of Ophiolepis crassa (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea), a brittle star from the eastern Pacific. Zool Stud 60:26. doi:10.6620/ZS.2021.60-26.