Report on Sightings of the Potential Invasive Species Ophiothela mirabilis (Echinodermata, Ophiuroidea) in Tobago, W.I.

Lanya Fanovich, Aljoscha Wothke, Ryan S. Mohammed


Ophiuroids (brittle stars) are evolutionarily adapted to thrive in marine habitats. Their high species diversity, generalist nature, ability to reproduce asexually and sexually and to employ anti-predator mechanisms, make them ideal invaders. Observations of the yellow-orange morphotype of Ophiothela mirabilis were recorded during Reef Check belt transect and roving underwater turtle surveys from July 2016 to January 2018 across 19 sites in Tobago. O. mirabilis was found at 15 of the 19 survey sites.

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