The Biodiversity of the South China Sea

Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research

Lane, D.J.W., L.M. Marsh, D. VandenSpiegel & F.W.E. Rowe, 2000. Echinoderm fauna of the South China Sea: An inventory and analysis of distribution patterns. Raffles Bull. Zool., Suppl. 8: 457-492.
© The National University of Singapore


ECHINODERM FAUNA OF THE SOUTH CHINA SEA:
AN INVENTORY AND ANALYSIS OF DISTRIBUTION PATTERNS

David J.W. Lane
Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore,
Lower Kent Ridge Road, Singapore 119260, Republic of Singapore.

Loisette M. Marsh
Department of Aquatic Zoology, Museum of Natural Science, Western Australian Museum,
Francis Street, Perth, Western Australia 6000, Australia

Didier VandenSpiegel
MuseÈ Royale de líAfrique Centrale, InvertÈbrÈs non insectes, B-3060 Tervuren, Belgium

Frank W.E. Rowe
Goldbrook Boarding Kennels, Nuttery Vale, Cross Street, Hoxne, Suffolk, IP21 5BB, U.K.


ABSTRACT. - A comprehensive review and analysis of the literature on echinoderm records for the South China Sea (SCS) indicates close to a thousand (983) species in total (113 crinoids, 227 asteroids, 272 ophiuroids, 168 echinoids and 203 holothuroids). All known SCS species and their  distributions are tabulated herein. A total of 174 echinoderms have their type locality in the South China Sea, with 64% of these (12% of the echinofauna overall) currently considered endemic. One possible reason for the prominence  of endemics is that the South China Sea became relatively land-locked, repeatedly, during low sea level stands.  Large areas of the South China Sea remain relatively unexplored biologically and it is likely that additional records and new taxa await discovery.