Modest sea star Meridiastra atyphoida, photographed by Leon Altoff.

Belongs within: Spinulosacea.

The Asterinidae are a family of generally pentagonal or stellate sea stars, adapted for clinging to hard surfaces (Waters et al. 2004). Members of the subfamily Asterininae have papulae widely distributed over the aboral surface, whereas members of the Anseropodinae have the papulae restricted to a narrow radial band (Spencer & Wright 1966).

Characters (from Spencer & Wright 1966): Minute marginals normally present; aboral skeleton composed of imbricated plates bearing grouped or single spinelets or granules; oral intermediate plates in regular transverse series, in some species consisting of virgals; interradial slits or dorsal depressions sometimes present.

    |  i. s.: Aquilonastra MG-H11
    |           |--A. anomala (Clark 1921) BM09
    |           |--A. cepheus (Müller & Troschel 1842) BM09
    |           `--A. shirleyae O’Loughlin 2009 MG-H11
    |         Indianastra sarasini (de Loriol 1897) BM09
    |         Parvulastra MG-H11
    |--Anseropodinae [Palmipedinae] SW66
    |    |--Kampylaster Koehler 1920 SW66
    |    |    `--*K. incurvatus Koehler 1920 SW66
    |    |--Mirastrella Fisher 1940 SW66
    |    |    `--*M. biradialis Fisher 1940 SW66
    |    `--Anseropoda Nardo 1834 [incl. Carna Gistl 1848, Palmipes Agassiz 1835] SW66
    |         |--A. placenta (Pennant 1777) SW66 (see below for synonymy)
    |         `--A. macropora Fisher 1913 MG-H11
    `--Asterininae SW66
         |  i. s.: Allopatiria Verrill 1913 SW66
         |           `--*A. ocellifera (Gray 1840) [=Patiria ocellifera] SW66
         |         Asterinopsis Verrill 1914 SW66
         |           `--*A. penicillaris (Lamarck 1916) [=Asterias penicillaris] SW66
         |         Desmopatiria Verrill 1914 SW66
         |           `--*D. flexilis Verrill 1914 SW66
         |         Disasterina Perrier 1875 [incl. Habroporina Clark 1921] SW66
         |           `--*D. abnormalis Perrier 1875 SW66
         |         Pseudonepanthia Clark 1916 SW66
         |           `--*P. gotoi Clark 1916 SW66
         |         Tegulaster Livingston 1933 SW66
         |           `--*T. emburyi Livingstone 1933 SW66
         |         Socomia Gray 1840 (n. d.) SW66
         |--+--‘Patiriella’ calcarata WOR04
         |  `--+--‘Patiriella’ exigua [=Asterina exigua] WOR04
         |     `--+--‘Patiriella’ parvivipara WOR04
         |        `--‘Patiriella’ vivipara WOR04
         `--+--+--Patiriella Verrill 1914 WOR04, SW66
            |  |    |--*P. regularis (Verrill 1867) [=Asterina (Asteriscus) regularis] SW66
            |  |    `--P. oliveri [=Asterina oliveri] WOR04
            |  `--+--‘Patiriella’ pseudoexigua [=Asterina pseudoexigua] WOR04
            |     `--+--‘Asterina’ scobinata WOR04
            |        `--+--+--‘Asterina’ batheri WOR04
            |           |  `--‘Asterina’ burtoni WOR04
            |           `--+--‘Asterina’ coronata WOR04
            |              `--+--‘Asterina’ anomala WOR04
            |                 `--‘Asterina’ minor WOR04
            `--+--+--Nepanthia Gray 1840 WOR04, BH04 [incl. Parasterina Fisher 1908 SW66]
               |  |    |--*N. maculata Gray 1840 SW66
               |  |    `--N. troughtoni WOR04
               |  `--Asteropseidae [Asteropidae, Gymnasteriinae] WOR04
               |       |--Dermasterias Perrier 1875 WOR04, SW66
               |       |    `--D. imbricata (Grube 1857) [=Asteropsis imbricata; incl. *D. inermis Perrier 1875] SW66
               |       `--Asteropsis Müller & Troschel 1840 (see below for synonymy) SW66
               |            `--*A. carinifera (Lamarck 1816) [=Asterias carinifera, *Asterope carinifera] SW66
               `--+--Asterina Nardo 1834 WOR04, BH04
                  |    |--*A. gibbosa (Pennant 1777) WOR04, SW66 (see below for synonymy)
                  |    |--A. phylactica WOR04
                  |    `--A. wega P71
                  `--+--+--‘Asterina’ chilensis WOR04
                     |  `--+--‘Asterina’ pectinifera WOR04 [=Patiria pectinifera KBC03]
                     |     `--Patiria Gray 1840 [incl. Callopatiria Verrill 1914, Enoplopatiria Verrill 1914] SW66
                     |          `--P. miniata (Brandt 1835) SW66 (see below for synonymy)
                     `--+--+--Paranepanthia Fisher 1917 WOR04, SW66
                        |  |    |--*P. platydisca (Fisher 1913) [=Nepanthia platydisca] SW66
                        |  |    |--P. aucklandensis [=Asterina aucklandensis] WOR04
                        |  |    `--P. grandis WOR04
                        |  `--Tremasterinae SW66
                        |       |--Tremaster Verrill 1879 SW66
                        |       |    `--*T. mirabilis Verrill 1879 SW66
                        |       `--Stegnaster Sladen 1889 WOR04, SW66
                        |            `--*S. inflatus (Hutton 1872) [=Pteraster inflatus] SW66
                        `--+--‘Patiriella’ mortenseni WOR04
                           `--+--+--‘Patiriella’ gunnii [=Asterina gunnii] WOR04
                              |  `--+--‘Patiriella’ oriens WOR04
                              |     `--+--‘Patiriella’ medius WOR04
                              |        `--‘Patiriella’ occidens WOR04
                              `--+--‘Patiriella’ calcar WOR04
                                 `--Meridiastra O’Loughlin 2002 WOR04
                                      |  i. s.: M. modesta WOR04
                                      |         M. rapa WOR04
                                      |--M. fissura WOR04
                                      `--+--M. atyphoida [=Asterina atyphoida] WOR04
                                         `--M. nigranota WOR04

Anseropoda placenta (Pennant 1777) SW66 [=Asterias placenta SW66; incl. As. membranacea Retzius 1805 SW66, *Anseropoda membranacea SW66, Palmipes membranaceus BK77]

*Asterina gibbosa (Pennant 1777) WOR04, SW66 [=Asterias gibbosa SW66; incl. Asterias minuta Nardo 1834 SW66, Asterina minuta SW66]

Asteropsis Müller & Troschel 1840 [=Asterope Müller & Troschel 1840 non Hübner 1819; incl. Gymnasteria Gray 1840] SW66

Patiria miniata (Brandt 1835) SW66 [=Asterias miniata SW66, Asterina miniata WOR04; incl. *Patiria coccinea Gray 1840 SW66]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[BK77] Barel, C. D. N., & P. G. N. Kramers. 1977. A survey of the echinoderm associates of the north-east Atlantic area. Zoologische Verhandelingen 156: 1–159.

[BH04] Blake, D. B., & F. H. C. Hotchkiss. 2004. Recognition of the asteroid (Echinodermata) crown group: implications of the ventral skeleton. Journal of Paleontology 78: 359–370.

[BM09] Bryce, C., & L. Marsh. 2009. Echinodermata (Asteroidea, Echinoidea and Holothuroidea) of Mermaid (Rowley Shoals), Scott and Seringapatam Reefs, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 77: 209–220.

[KBC03] Kashin, I. A., E. V. Bagaveeva & S. F. Chaplygina. 2003. Fouling communities of hydrotechnical constructions in Nakhodka Bay (Sea of Japan). Russian Journal of Marine Biology 29: 267–283.

[MG-H11] McEnnulty, F. R., K. L. Gowlett-Holmes, A. Williams, F. Althaus, J. Fromont, G. C. B. Poore, T. D. O’Hara, L. Marsh, P. Kott, S. Slack-Smith, P. Alderslade & M. V. Kitahara. 2011. The deepwater megabenthic invertebrates on the western continental margin of Australia (100–1100 m depths): composition, distribution and novelty. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 80: 1–191.

[P71] Por, F. D. 1971. One hundred years of Suez Canal—a century of Lessepsian migration: retrospect and viewpoints. Systematic Zoology 20 (2): 138–159.

[SW66] Spencer, W. K., & C. W. Wright. 1966. Asterozoans. In: Moore, R. C. (ed.) Treatise on invertebrate Paleontology pt U. Echinodermata 3 vol. 1 pp. U4–U107. The Geological Society of America, Inc., and The University of Kansas Press.

[WOR04] Waters, J. M., P. M. O’Loughlin & M. S. Roy. 2004. Molecular systematics of some Indo-Pacific asterinids (Echinodermata, Asteroidea): does taxonomy reflect phylogeny? Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 30: 872–878.

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