East Weddell Sea echinoids from the JR275 expedition
Information regarding the echinoids in this dataset is based on the Agassiz Trawl (AGT) and epibenthic sledge (EBS) samples collected during the British Antarctic Survey cruise JR275 on the RRS James Clark Ross in the austral summer 2012. A total of 56 (1 at the South Orkneys and 55 in the Eastern Weddell Sea) Agassiz Trawl and 18 (2 at the South Orkneys and 16 in the Eastern Weddell Sea) epibenthic sledge deployments were performed at depths ranging from ~280 to ~2060 m. This presents a unique collection for the Antarctic benthic biodiversity assessment of an important group of benthic invertebrates. In total 487 specimens belonging to six families, 15 genera, and 22 morphospecies were collected. The species richness per station varied between one and six. Total species richness represents 27% of the 82 echinoid species ever recorded in the Southern Ocean (David et al. 2005b, Pierrat et al. 2012, Saucède et al. 2014). The Cidaridae (sub-family Ctenocidarinae) and Schizasteridae are the two most speciose families in the dataset. They comprise seven and nine species respectively. This is illustrative of the overall pattern of echinoid diversity in the Southern Ocean where 65% of Antarctic species belong to the families Schizasteridae and Cidaridae (Pierrat et al. 2012).