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Deep-Sea Echinoderms of New Zealand

Anthenoides Perrier, 1881

page 12

Anthenoides Perrier, 1881

Body covered by a membrane which is superficially smooth and rather thick, obscuring the underlying granules during life, though these become visible after drying. Secondary small abactinal plates on either side of the median carinal series. Actinal intermediate areas large, the intermediate plates polygonal. Adambulacral armature comprising a furrow-comb, plus granules or subambulacral spines and pedicellariae. No abactinal or actinal spines.

This striking Indo-Pacific genus, though new to the fauna of New Zealand, is already known to be represented in Western Australia, where a small species, A. dubius H. L. Clark, has been taken. The New Zealand representative, on the other hand, is a large and handsome form, rivalling Dipsacaster magnificus.

Anthenoides granulosus Fisher Plate 1, Fig. B.
  • Fisher, W. K., 1919. Bull. U.S. Nat. Mus., p. 328, Pl. 88 and 94.

Material Examined: One specimen, taken in 270 fathoms, off Mayor Island, Bay of Plenty, by Dr. R. K. Dell, at Dom. Mus. Station B.S.209. It is now in the collection of the Dominion Museum, No. Z Ech. 567.

Remarks: The specimen, the only one so far discovered in New Zealand waters, appears to be an adult and has 31–33 marginals in either series, from the IR to the arm-tip. The holotype of the species was taken in 265 fathoms off Mollucca Islands. The New Zealand specimen has relatively longer arms, R 135 mm, r 50 mm, R = 2 6 r (as against R = 2 r in the holotype); this difference is, however, probably due to the greater size of the New Zealand specimen, for in other respects there is close agreement.

The marginals are densely granulated, with coarser granules on the lateral margins of the proximal inferomarginals. The ambitus is defined by the projecting inferomarginals alone. The pedicellariae are largest on the proximal adambulacral plates, and smallest on the abactinal plates, where they resemble cleft granules. The adambulacral armature is characteristic of the species as described by Fisher, comprising (a) a furrow-comb of 6–9 uniform, delicate spines, deeply placed in the narrow furrow, (b) 2 or 3 coarse sub-ambulacral spines, one or two of which become enlarged on the distal half of the arm, (c) scattered granules and pedicellariae. The enlargement of the subambulacral spines on distal adambulacral plates, though mentioned by Fisher (1919), was not figured by him, and so an illustration of the condition in the New Zealand specimen is given here (Fig. B). From A. epixanthus Fisher, of Hawaii, the present specimen differs in possessing abactinal pedicellariae and in its adambulacral armature.

The presence of this Indonesian sea-star in the Bay of Plenty gives further ground for regarding the area as falling within the Aupourian marine province, where northern elements of the fauna are most evident.