Ophioderma panamensis Luetken , 1859

Granja-Fernandez, Rebeca, Herrero-Perezrul, Maria D., Lopez-Perez, Ramon A., Hernandez, Luis, Rodriguez-Zaragoza, Fabian A., Jones, Robert Wallace & Pineda-Lopez, Ruben, 2014, Ophiuroidea (Echinodermata) from coral reefs in the Mexican Pacific, ZooKeys 406, pp. 101-145 : 130-131

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Ophioderma panamensis Luetken , 1859


Ophioderma panamensis Luetken, 1859 Figure 6 A–F


Disk pentagonal (dd = 4.7 to 18.1 mm); dorsal and ventral side covered by fine, closely and rounded granulation. Radial shields naked, small and oval (Fig. 6D, E). Oral shields large and oval; wider than long. Adoral shields covered by granules. The madreporite is evident. Eight to ten oral papillae on each side of the jaw (Fig. 6F). Dorsal arm plates overlapping and rectangular with rounded edges; wider than long (Fig. 6B). Ventral arm plates oval and slightly overlapping; wider than long. Reduced lateral arm plates. Ten to 11 short and blunt arm spines; all spines are closely equal in size except the lowest which is longer. Two lanceolated tentacle scales (Fig. 6C). Four bursal slits per interradius (Fig. 6E). Disk brownish (Fig. 6A, D). Dorsal arm plates brown with dark and light bands (Fig. 6B).


USA (California), Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, Colombia and Galapagos Islands ( Clark HL 1940, Hooker et al. 2005, Neira and Cantera 2005, Alvarado et al. 2010). In Mexico, from the Gulf of California (Baja California Sur, Sonora, Sinaloa), on the Pacific side of Baja California and Baja California Sur, Jalisco, Revillagigedo Islands, Guerrero and Oaxaca ( Solís-Marín et al. 2005, Honey-Escandón et al. 2008, Granja-Fernández and López-Pérez 2011, 2012). From intertidal to 40 m depth ( Austin and Hadfield 1980). In this study, Ophioderma panamensis was collected on coral reefs from Guerrero and Oaxaca, 4.9 to 9.1 m depth.


Ophioderma panamensis was collected under rocks and on sand. Maluf (1988) reported that this species may inhabit rocks, corals and algae. Adults and juveniles were found cohabiting together. Juveniles curled their arms over the dorsal side of the disk which is white in most individuals. This behavior camouflages juveniles on the white sand under the rocks. There are studies that report a wide variety of color patterns in Ophioderma panamensis ( Ives 1889, Nielsen 1932, Ziesenhenne 1955) but, we only found two variations in body colors: brown or grey. In addition, some specimens had white spots on the disk and all specimens presented bands on the dorsal side of the arms. Although some authors report a high incidence of subdivided dorsal arm plates ( Ives 1889, Nielsen 1932, Ziesenhenne 1955), we found only a few specimens with divided (in two segments) dorsal arm plates. Ophioderma panamensis was the most common ophiodermatid on the coral reefs from the Mexican Pacific.

Collected material.

GUERRERO:Morro del Cerro Colorado (1 specimen, rock, 5.5 m, 31/05/2012, ICML-UNAM 10570); Zacatoso (3 specimens, rock, 9.1 m, 01/06/2012, ICML-UNAM 10580); El Yunque (3 specimens, rock, 5.5 m, 04/12/2010, ICML-UNAM 10409); Manzanillo (1 specimen, rock, 6.1 m, 30/05/2012, ICML-UNAM 10555); Morros de Potosí (2 specimens, rock, 06/03/2009, ICML-UNAM 10203); Palmitas (5 specimens, rock, 6.4 m, 20/11/2011, ICML-UNAM 10458).

OAXACA:El Zapatito (1 specimen, rock, 23/04/2009, ICML-UNAM 10226); Estacahuite (1 specimen, rock, 17/04/2008, MHN 005-4354); La Mina (1 specimen, rock, 17/04/2008, MHN 005-4343); Boquilla (7 specimens, sand, 02/11/2007, MHN 005-4397); Tijera (1 specimen, 23/11/2007, MHN 005-401); Dos Hermanas (1 specimen, rock, 08/08/2011, ICML-UNAM 10426); Harrys (4 specimens, rock, 9.1 m, 21/10/2011, ICML-UNAM 10438); Guerrilla (2 specimens, rock, 4.9 m, 18/05/2012, ICML-UNAM 10540).