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Deep-Sea Echinoderms of New Zealand



A total of 91 archibenthal and abyssal species can now be recorded from New Zealand coastal seas. 42 of them not previously known from deep water, and 32 of them new to the fauna. Six families of asteroids are recorded for the first time from New Zealand—namely, Benthopectinidae, Pterasteridae, Korethrasteridae. Solasteridae, Brisingidae and Zoroasteridae. Genera not previously recorded from New Zealand are: Plutonaster, Dipsacaster, Benthopecten, Cheiraster, Anthenoides, Pseudarchaster, Hippasteria, Pteraster (sub-genus Apterodon), Peribolaster, Crossaster, Brisingenes, Zoroaster, Cosmasterias, Amphiodia, Ophiuraster, Ophiuroglypha, Paramaretia; also Aspidocidaris, a sub-genus of Goniocidaris. The deep-water fauna includes species restricted to New Zealand as well as species occurring in the north Pacific, Hawaii. Indonesia, south-east Australia and the Southern Ocean (Indian Ocean and Antarctic). It is interpreted as a mingling of endemic and cosmopolitan elements, shelf-forms occasionally descending the continental slope, and abyssal forms occasionally reaching the shelf. Relatively steep submarine profiles facilitate the mingling of deep-water and shallow-water groups, and individual species tend to have a wide bathymetric range. An echinoid, Pseudechinus flemingi sp. nov., is recorded from both living and Pleistocene examples.