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Twinkle, twinkle, brittle star. How I wonder what you are –

The brittle stars are a fascinating group of animals with about 2000 known species. Quite a few species have been identified from the MIWA material and we are trying to compare the African shelf fauna with that of the northern Atlantic. Initial DNA-barcoding has returned some puzzling results and we needed another look on some of the problematic individuals. Fortunately, two researchers with very special knowledge of the brittle stars were able to join us in an identification workshop during the last week of November.
Øyidis Alme did her master study on brittle stars and she was joined by Sabine Stöhr from the Natural History Museum of Stockholm for a three days session over the microscopes. Sabine is a respected specialist on the brittle stars and maintains The World Ophiuroidea Database:

Samples to be checked

Portrait of a crab

Sakaila africana was recognized as a new species by Raymond B. Manning and L.B. Holthuis in 1981. Their publication in The Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology is an important source  to the identification of West African crabs. An electronic version of the publication is available on this link. Our workshop found Sakaila africana in samples from Guinea Conakry.

Sakaila africana

Sakaila africana