Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India

Volume 40 Issue 1&2

Deepwater gorgonids collected aboard FORV Sagar Sampada from the Southwest coast of India.

P. A. Thomas,Rani Mary George and P.E. Sampson Manickam

During the 42nd, 68th and 74th wises of FORV Sugar Samprrda a survey of the bottom fauna was made along the southwest coast of India between Trivandrum and Alleppy at depth zones va ing between 48 and 150 m. Though bottom trawling was attempted at several stations during each cruise, 3 gonids were represented only in 3 stations during cruise 42 and in one station each in cruise 68 and 74. Analyses of the samples indicated the prcsena of 8 species of gorgonids referable to 4 families and 7 genera in the above area. Species of the Suborder Scleraxonia is represented by one species, while all the others belonged to the Suborder Holhaxonia of the Order Gorgonacta. 


While analysing the composition of the above species it could be noticed that the gorgonid fauna of the above depth mne is constituted both by those species occurring commonly in the inshore realms and also by those which are specific to deep water areas. While comparing the presently collected species with those obtained off Bombay during the 22nd auise of FORV Sagur Sampada from d e w ranging from 65 to 130 m., a similar faunistic composition was discernible. The inshore species were fewer in number (25%) in the  present as well as in the collections from off Bombay, while the deep water species oonstihrted thc bulk (75%). 


While comparing the dbMbution of species which a n specific to deep water arcas, it may be noticed that there are 4 species common to the present as well as to the earlier collections from off Bombay and this indicates that deep water gorpnids enjoy a wide distribution in the Arabian Sea. Biodiversity of gorgonids collected from deep water realms off the southwest coast of India a d off Bombay is also compared and contrasted with that of gorgonids from deep waters of the northeast mast of India reported earlier.



Date : 30-12-1998