POTENTIALLY MISIDENTIFIED SPECIES:
A. thrombodes resembles A. sepultus, except for the presence of bumps on the edge of the dorsal scales in the former species (Hendler et al. 1995). A. thrombodes also exhibits only a single pair of tentacle scales on most arm joints, and a narrower tip on the middle arm spine.
HABITAT & REGIONAL OCCURENCE:
A. thrombodes inhabits muddy sand in shallow waters 0.3 to 0.6 m deep. Individuals are often seen burrowing in beds of the seagrass, Halodule wrightii (Hendler et al. 1995). The range of A. thrombodes extends along the Gulf Coast of Florida, and from Fort Pierce southward along Florida’s east coast.
INDIAN RIVER LAGOON DISTRIBUTION:
This brittle star is found from Fort Pierce to the southern tip of the IRL.
The disk diameter of A. thrombodes is approximately 5 mm, with arms 60 mm long (Hendler et al. 1995).
The sex ratio in populations of A. thrombodes at Cedar Key, Florida has been documented as 1 male to every 0.79 females (Stancyk 1970).
A. thrombodes has been collected with other burrowing brittle stars such as A. sepultus (Hendler et al. 1995).
Hendler G, Miller JE, Pawson DL & PM Kier. 1995. Sea stars, sea urchins, and allies: echinoderms of Florida and the Caribbean. Smithsonian Institution Press. Washington, D.C. 390 pp.
Stancyk SE. 1970. Studies on the biology and ecology of ophiuroids at Cedar Key, Florida. Unpublished MS thesis. University of Florida, Gainesville.
Thomas LP. 1962. The shallow water amphiurid brittle stars (Echinodermata, Ophiuroidea) of Florida. Bull. Mar. Sci. Gulf Carib. 12: 623-694.