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Astrotoma agassizii Lyman, 1875

provided by Census of Antarctic Marine Life

Description

Astrotoma agassizii, the large brittle star belonging to the suborder Euryalina, has long, flexible, and mobile arms that use to capture the prey from the water column.

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Species details

Bernasconi I. & D’Agostino M.M. 1977. Ofiuroídeos del mar epicontinental argentino. Revista del Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales, Hidrobiologia 5, 65‑114. Castro Manso C.L. 2010. Deep-water Ophiuroidea (Echinodermata) from off Chile in the Eastern South Pacific. Biota Neotropica 10, 1-15. Dearborn J.H., Ferrari F.D. & Edwards K.C. 1986. Can pelagic aggregations cause benthic satiation? Feeding biology of the Antarctic brittle star Astrotoma agassizii (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea). Biology of the Antarctic Seas XVII, Antarctic Research Series 44, 1-28. Ferrari F.D & Dearborn J.H. 1989. A second examination of predation on pelagic copepods by the brittle star Astrotoma agassizii. Journal of Plankton Research 11, 1315-1320. Hunter R.L. & Halanych K.M. 2008. Evaluating connectivity in the brooding brittle star Astrotoma agassizii across the Drake Passage in the Southern Ocean. Journal of Heredity 99, 137–148. Márquez F. D.M., Galeano J. E. & Martínez M. A. 2004. Natural products with antimicrobial activity. Part II. Vitae 11, 35-41.

Photos

  • Astrotoma agassizii - Astrotoma agassizii Lyman, 1875  - Stefano Schiaparelli
  • Astrotoma agassizii - Astrotoma agassizii - Peter Marriott
  • Astrotoma agassizii - Astrotoma agassizii Lyman, 1875  - David Bowden
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Species distribution

Astrotoma agassizii is found throughout the Southern Ocean in depths of 70-1000 m (Bernasconi & D’Agostino, 1977) and occurs irregularly on the shelves of sub-Antarctic islands and the Antarctic continent (Ferrari & Dearborn, 1989). Along the Chilean margin between Chiloe (42° S) and the Strait of Magellan. On the South Atlantic to North (39°) off Argentina Coast; Tierra del Fuego; Falklands, South Georgia and Shag Rocks Islands; Antarctic region (Tierra de Graham, Ross Sea, Haakon VII Sea; Tierra Adelia, Reina María, Mac Robertson and Enderby) (Castro Manso, 2010).

The analysis of the stomach contents showed that the diet consisted of members of only two major taxa, Crustacea and Chaetognatha. Copepods occurred in 75.6% of brittle stars containing food and were the dominant prey group, followed by mysids (34.6%), chaetognaths (10.2%), and euphausiids (8.9%). Other prey included unidentified crustacean and organic remains, ostracodes, and amphipods. Euchaeta antarctica and Calanoides acutus constituted about 80% of the stomach content copepods (Dearborn et al. 1986).

Occurrences map

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