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Type: Article
Published: 2024-02-28
Page range: 159-171
Abstract views: 15
PDF downloaded: 11

A new species of the genus Ophiomyxa (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea: Ophiomyxidae) from the Mallorca Channel seamounts in the western Mediterranean

Centre Oceanogràfic de les Balears (COB-IEO); CSIC; Moll de Ponent s/n; 07015 Palma; Spain
Centre Oceanogràfic de les Balears (COB-IEO); CSIC; Moll de Ponent s/n; 07015 Palma; Spain
Centro Oceanográfico de Murcia (COMU-IEO); CSIC; el Varadero;1; 30740 Lo Pagan; Spain
Centre Oceanogràfic de les Balears (COB-IEO); CSIC; Moll de Ponent s/n; 07015 Palma; Spain
Centre Oceanogràfic de les Balears (COB-IEO); CSIC; Moll de Ponent s/n; 07015 Palma; Spain
Echinodermata Brittle star deep-sea Balearic Islands COI


A new species belonging to the ophiuroid genus Ophiomyxa is described from the Mallorca Channel seamount, in the western Mediterranean Sea. It can be distinguished from other Ophiomyxa species by the lack of interradial marginal plates, three arm spines, the presence of two thin, transparent and completely perforated dorsal arm plates on each arm segment, the separate heptagonal ventral arm plates, the disk integument full of transparent rounded scales with scattered perforated ossicles, and a characteristic coloration of the disk, which in the living specimen is brown with abundant scattered bright white spots. Molecular analyses based on cytochrome c Oxidase subunit I (DNA barcode) clearly support the assignment of the new species to Ophiomyxa. This discovery highlights the importance of the Mallorca Channel seamounts for the Mediterranean biodiversity conservation, as they seem to provide a suitable habitat for several invertebrate species, including recent descriptions of species and new Mediterranean records, which apparently have not established permanent populations along the closest continental margin.



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