a1 British Antarctic Survey, NERC, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET, UK
a2 Area de Zoología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Extremadura, 06006 Badajoz, Spain
Ophiuroids are a conspicuous and often dominant component of the Antarctic continental shelf benthos. Here we report on the ophiuroids collected from the Burdwood Bank, off the Patagonian Shelf, through the shallow water areas of the Scotia Arc, down the west Antarctic Peninsula and as far south as Pine Island Bay in the eastern Amundsen Sea. This preliminary and primarily pattern based study identifies some regional differences in assemblages and highlights the role of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current as a barrier, as well as a facilitator, to dispersal. In order to effectively compare between studies we highlight the need for accurate, expert taxonomic identification of specimens.
(Received April 04 2012)
(Accepted June 01 2012)
(Online publication August 09 2012)