Tripneustes gratilla var. elatensis Dafni 1983

Family: Toxopneustidae

Order: Echinoida

Locality: Hurghada, Egypt, rocky bottom, 1m, 2006

Dimensions: 135 x 75 mm

 

Living specimens from Hurghada, Egypt, 1 m

 

Special features of Tripneustes gratilla elatensis

T. gratilla elatensis         T. gratilla

 

As main difference an adult Tripneustes gratilla elatensis has fewer primary spine tubercles on the interambulacral plates, as they appear only in 1 of 2-3 plates, while in T. gratilla each interambulacral plate has a primary tubercle. Another conspicuous difference is the colour. T. g. elatensis has in average a lower number of plates. The diameter, formerly supposed to be lower in T. g. elatensis, may reach the same dimension as for T. gratilla (I found in Hurghada a specimen with 160 mm diameter). As I have been informed by Dr. J. Dafni, a genetic-investigation is running to confirm either the status of a sub-species or to show as result even a new species.

 

Source:

J. Dafni, A new subspecies of Tripneustes gratilla from the northern Red Sea (Echinodermata: Echinoidea: Toxopneustidae), Israel Journal of Zoology, Vol. 32, 1983, pp. 1-12.