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On the marine fauna of Ghana

Author(s): Bassindale R


A general survey of the marine fauna of the Gold Coast (now Ghana) was carried out in the years 1949-52. Collections were made along the whole length of the Ghanaian coast line and in the sub-littoral near Accra. Systematic descriptions have already been published of the Polychaeta; Pagurida; Hippidea and Brachyura; Echinodermata and Tunicata. Accounts of the Cirripedia; Caridea, Palinura and Thalassinidea; and Polyzoa are expected shortly, while accounts of the Porifera and some Coelenterata will be delayed. Lists of the Mollusca (excluding Cephalopoda) and fishes are given here in Appendices 4 and 5.

In all, 586 species have been named, including 25 new species and many new records for the area. There are differences in the intertidal fauna at the east end of the coast as compared with the west, and there are similar changes in the sub-littoral fauna in the few miles from Accra to the Densu mouth.

The distribution of sub-littoral animals conforms with Buchanan's (1958) description of the zonation, but no evidence was found of his mollusc-free zone (Buchanan 1954).

The fauna consists mainly of the West African tropical species with a strong representation of species found further north and a few which extend southwards. There is also a small element of tropical species found also on the American Atlantic coast and a few pan-tropical species.

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