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  • Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, Volume 51, Issue 2
  • May 1971, pp. 267-282

On the ecology of a dense bed of the brittle-star Ophiothrix fragilis

  • G. F. Warner (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 May 2009


The occurrence of dense beds of the brittle-star Ophiothrix fragilis (Abildgaard) in certain localized areas around the British Isles has been reported by several authors (Allen, 1899; Vevers, 1952; Cabioch, 1961; Holme, 1961; Brun, 1969), with population densities varying from 340/m2 (Vevers, 1952) to 2196/m2 (Brun, 1969). These populations seem to be permanent features of the sea bed since the aggregation sampled by Allen was in the same position as that photographed by Vevers fifty years later.

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L. Cabioch , 1967. Résultats obtenus par l'emploi de la photographie sous-marine sur le fonds du large de Roscoff. Helgoländer wiss. Meeresunters., T. 15, pp. 361–70.

A. K. Nagabhushanan & J. S. Colman , 1959. Carrion eating by ophiuroids. Nature Lond., Vol. 184, p. 285.

H. M. Roushdy & V. K. Hansen , 1960. Ophiuroids feeding on phytoplankton. Nature Lond., Vol. 188, pp. 517–18.

J. E. Smith , 1938. Occurrence of young Ophiothrix fragilis within the genital bursa of the adult. Nature Lond., Vol. 141, p. 554.

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