Distribution and Ecology of Shallow-Water Crinoids at Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands, with an Annotated Checklist of Their Symbionts

Zmarzly, D.L.
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University of Hawai'i Press
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Six species of comatulid crinoids were found to inhabit coral reefs between depths of 3 and 36m at Enewetak Atoll , Marshall Islands. These species were Eudiocrinus tenuissimus, Dorometra nana, Comaster gracilis, Comanthus bennetti, Comanthus parvicirrus, and Comanthina schlegeli. The first four species were previously recorded from other atolls in the Marshall Islands, but Comanthus bennetti was the only species reported from Enewetak. Comanthus parvicirrus and Comanthina schlegeli have not been previously recorded for the area . Nine shallow-water species are now known from the Marshall Islands, compared to 2I species from the Palau Archipelago and 7from Guam. At Enewetak, abundance and diversity of crinoids were greatest at sites with exposure to regular current flow, and depth zonation of species was ap- . parent. Three of the species at Enewetak were polychromatic; color varieties found at Enewetak are compared to those documented for conspecifics at other Indo-Pacific locations. Spatial distribution patterns and relative abundances of the noncryptic crinoids at three sites remained nearly constant over a half-year period. No mortality or recruitment was observed in the monitored populations. Eighteen species of macro-invertebrates were found in association with the crinoids: 3 species of gastropod mollusks, 3 species of myzostomid worms, 1 species of scaleworm, 1 species of copepod, and 10 species of decapod crustaceans.
Zmarzly DL. 1984. Distribution and ecology of shallow-water crinoids at Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands, with an annotated checklist of their symbionts. Pac Sci 38(2): 105-122.
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