Skip to main content Accesibility Help

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

  • G. F. Warner (a1)


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.

Hide All
Allen, E. J., 1899. On the fauna and bottom deposits near the thirty-fathom line from the Eddystone Grounds to Start Point. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K., Vol. 5 pp. 365542.
Brun, E., 1969. Aggregation of Ophiothrix fragilis (Abildgaard) (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea). Nytt Mag. Zool., Vol. 17 pp. 153–60.
Cabioch, L., 1961. Étude de la repartition des peuplements benthique au large de Roscoff. Cah. Biol. mar., T. 2, pp. 140.
Cabioch, L., 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.
Fontaine, A. R., 1965. The feeding mechanism of the ophiuroid Ophiocomina nigra. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K., Vol. 45 pp. 373–85.
Garstang, W., 1903. Report on trawling and other investigations carried out in the bays on the South-East coast of Devon during 1901 and 1902. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K., Vol. 6 pp. 435527.
Guille, A., 1964. Contribution à l'étude de la systématique et de l'ecologie d'Ophiothrix quinquemaculata D. Ch. Vie Milieu, T. 15, pp. 243308.
Holme, N. A., 1953. The biomass of the bottom fauna of the English Channel off Plymouth. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K., Vol. 32 pp. 149.
Holme, N. A., 1961. The bottom fauna of the English Channel. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K., Vol. 41 PP. 397461.
Holme, N. A., 1966. The bottom fauna of the English Channel. Part II. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K., Vol. 46 pp. 401–93.
Kyle, H. M., 1903. Notes on the physical conditions existing within the line from Start Point to Portland Bill. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K., Vol. 6 pp. 528–40.
Marine Biological Association, 1957. Plymouth Marine Fauna, 3rd ed. Plymouth.
Nagabhushanan, A. K. & Colman, J. S., 1959. Carrion eating by ophiuroids. Nature Lond., Vol. 184, p. 285.
Reese, E. S., 1966. The complex behaviour of echinoderms pp. 157218 in Physiology of Echinodermata. (ed. Boolootian, R. A.). New York: John Wiley and Sons.
Robins, M. W., 1968. The ecology of Alcyonium species in the Scilly Isles. Underwater Ass. Rep., 1968, pp. 6771.
Roushdy, H. M. & Hansen, V. K., 1960. Ophiuroids feeding on phytoplankton. Nature Lond., Vol. 188, pp. 517–18.
Smith, J. E., 1937. The structure and function of the tube feet in certain echinoderms. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K., Vol. 22 pp. 345–57.
Smith, J. E., 1938. Occurrence of young Ophiothrix fragilis within the genital bursa of the adult. Nature Lond., Vol. 141, p. 554.
Smith, J. E., 1940. The reproductive system and associated organs of the brittle-star Ophiothrix fragilis. Q. Jl microsc. Set., Vol. 132 pp. 267309.
Todd, R. A., 1903. Notes on the invertebrate fauna and fish-food of the bays between Start and Exmouth. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K., Vol. 6 pp. 541–61.
Vevers, H. G., 1952. A photographic survey of certain areas of the sea floor near Plymouth. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K., Vol. 31 pp. 215–22.
Vevers, H. G., 1956. Observations on feeding mechanisms in some ophiuroids. Proc. zool. Soc. Lond., Vol. 126 pp. 484–85.
Warner, G. F., 1970. Brittle-star beds in Torbay Devon. Underwater Ass. Rep., 1969, pp. 81–5.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • ISSN: 0025-3154
  • EISSN: 1469-7769
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-marine-biological-association-of-the-united-kingdom
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed