New brittlestar in Atlantic

A new species of Brittle Star (Ophiothela mirabilis) has been sited on coral reefs close to ports in Brazil and the Caribbean.

Until recently this brittle star was only found in the Pacific Ocean, leading researchers to believe that this invasive species has been transported into Atlantic waters in the ballast water of cargo vessels. It is too early to be certain of the potential impacts the introduction of this species will have on Atlantic coral reefs. It is likely, however, following similar introductions of invasive species in the past, to have a major ecological impact on Atlantic coral reef communities.

To read the original article, click here.

To read an overview and commentary at Sciencedaily.com, click here.

 

P.S. This image is of a crown of thorns and not a brittlestar. GRP does not yet have an image of the invasive critter!

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