The World Ophiuroidea Database

(part of WoRMS - the World Register of Marine Species)

The Ophiuroidea (brittle stars and basket stars) are the largest class among extant Echinodermata. They are characterized by the disk being clearly offset from the arms. Like all echinoderms they are usually pentamerous, although species with six and more arms exist. In basket stars the arms may branch numerous times.

The world list is intended to act as a tool for anybody, who needs correct taxonomic information, specialists and non-specialists alike. It will also act as a backbone for specimen and geographic information, which is being accumulated by OBIS and GBIF.

This first ever world database of extant ophiuroid species names is the result of long term accumulation of taxonomic information from the literature by Sabine Stöhr and Tim O’Hara. The number of described extant species of ophiuroid has been estimated to 2 000. The world list currently includes 2 134 valid species names and thus it is the most recent and up-to-date census of the taxon available. We believe the list to be at least 90% complete, but will continue to add information. The list will also be updated, when new species are described or revisions of taxa are published. To speed up such updates, we invite you to send copies of your publications to the editor Sabine Stöhr.

Please, inform the editor Sabine Stöhr of any omissions, errors or typos you come across. If you disagree with a synonymy, genus assignment or other taxonomic decision, please, send in your argumented corrected assignment. We will evaluate each contribution and corrections will be incorporated quickly.


Usage of data from the World Ophiuroidea Database in scientific publications should be acknowledged by citing as follows:

  • Stöhr, S.; O’Hara, T.; Thuy, B. (Eds) (2024). World Ophiuroidea Database. Accessed at on 2024-06-20. doi:10.14284/358
If the data from the World Ophiuroidea Database constitute a substantial proportion of the records used in analyses, the chief editor(s) of the database should be contacted. There may be additional data which may prove valuable to such analyses.

Individual pages are individually authored and dated. These can be cited separately: the proper citation is provided at the bottom of each page.

Website and databases developed and hosted by Flanders Marine Institute · Page generated on 2024-06-20 07:05:18+02:00 · Contact: Sabine Stöhr