Ophiopluteus

ophiopluteus

[¦äf·ē·ō′plüd·ē·əs]
(invertebrate zoology)
The pluteus larva of brittle stars.

Ophiopluteus

 

the larva of echinoderms of the class Ophiuroidea. An ophiopluteus has four pairs of long processes, or arms, enclosing calcareous rods. These arms, which are covered with a strip of ciliate epithelium, enable the larva to swim. Three pairs of coelomic sacs extend from the intestine; the left anterior sac opens to the outside through an interstitial canal. The adult form develops from the anterior part of the larva only.