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Free Content Coral Reef Project—Papers in Memory of Dr. Thomas F. Goreau. 10.

Distribution and Living Habits of Comatulid Crinoids near Discovery Bay, Jamaica

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Four species of comatulid crinoids (Echinodermata) are known to inhabit the coral reefs near Discovery Bay, Jamaica, to depths of at least 60 m. Nemaster rubiginosa, by far the most common species, is concentrated along the top of the fore-reef escarpment, at 9-15 m. Nemaster discoidea is most common on the deeper reefs, from 15-60 m and deeper. Analcidometra caribbea occurs sporadically, attached to gorgonians at depths of 15-30 m and deeper. Comactinia echinoptera has been found only on the shallow reefs, at 9-15 m, where it hides by day and emerges for feeding at night.

The diversity and relative abundance of this crinoid fauna are low in comparison to shallow-water crinoid faunas of the southern Caribbean. These differences may be correlated in part with regional trends in planktonic productivity.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 1973

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