New data on brittle stars (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea) from the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea, Iran

Document Type : Research articles

Authors

1 1- Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology, Mashhad, Iran 2- Ghent University, Research Group Evolutionary Morphology of Vertebrates, Gent, Belgium

2 Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology, Mashhad, Iran

3 Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Zoology, Stockholm, Sweden

4 Ghent University, Research Group Evolutionary Morphology of Vertebrates, Gent, Belgium

Abstract

Brittle stars are one of the most diverse classes of echinoderms distributed worldwide in marine habitats. In this study, brittle stars were sampled by hand from the intertidal zone of the Persian Gulf's western part to the Oman Sea, from locations accessible without the need of a boat or diving equipment. Sampling time was set in the first days of the lunar month or at least the time of the lowest tide in each day. The specimens were first immobilized in freshwater, then fixed in neutralized buffered formalin, and finally preserved in 70% ethanol after one week of fixation. Of 22 sampling points, seven localities yielded intertidal brittle stars (Macrophiothrix hirsuta cheneyi, Macrophiothrix elongata, and Ophiocoma scolopendrina) during the sampling period (December 2017–March 2018). Ophiocoma scolopendrina is reported for the first time from Dayyer and Nayband in the Persian Gulf. We also re-evaluated recently reported data on ophiuroids from the studied area.

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