Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Research Article

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

G. F. Warnera1

a1 Zoology Department, Reading University


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.