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Deep-Sea Echinoderms of New Zealand

Dipsacaster Alcock, 1893

Dipsacaster Alcock, 1893

Although recorded from Australia (on the basis of a single individual) Dipsacaster has not hitherto been taken in New Zealand waters. The genus may be characterized briefly as follows: The margin of the ray defined by the inferomarginals, which project beyond the superomarginals. Actinal intermediate areas large, crossed by fasciolar grooves. No pedicellariae. Madreporite large, covered by paxillae.

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Dipsacaster magnificus (H. L. Clark)
  • Lonchotaster magnificus Clark, H. L., 1916. Endeavour Rpt., p. 30, Pl. 6; Dipsacaster magnificus Fisher 1919. Bull. 100, U.S. Nat. Mus., 3, p. 150.

Material Examined: 25 specimens taken by Mr. F. Abernethy, honorary collector to Victoria University Zoology Department, at a depth of 55–63 fathoms in Cook Strait, 10 miles E. by S. of Cape Campbell. Colour in life, salmon-pink above, marginals paler salmon, underside cream.

Remarks: The holotype, hitherto unique, was taken by the Endeavour in the Great Australian Bight between 80–100 fathoms. The discovery of a relatively large population on the Cook Strait shelf, only a few miles from an area which had previously been trawled extensively, was a considerable surprise. Although D. magnificus has not yet been taken in deep water off New Zealand, it should probably be regarded as a deep water species, in view of its distribution. Like Psilaster, Gorgonocephalus, and other genera with a comparable range, it may well be an archibenthal type which occasionally ascends the slope to the continental shelf, provided the distance is not great.