Urasterella thraivensis, from the Hunterian Museum.

Belongs within: Eleutherozoa.
Contains: Mesopalaeasteridae, Hudsonasteridae, Neopalaeasteridae, Ambuloasteroidea.

The Asteroidea include the starfish or sea-stars, star-shaped free-living echinoderms with relatively broad arms, each of which bears a ventral ambulacral groove containing the tube feet. In basal asteroids (including most Palaeozoic forms), the ambulacral plates are paired with the neighbouring adambulacral plates (as opposed to offset as in Ambuloasteroidea; Blake & Hagdorn 2003). Among the basalmost starfish are the Palasteriscidae, known from the Middle Ordovician and Lower Devonian, with very shallow ambulacral grooves and broad adambulacrals bearing flat spines on a transverse ridge. The Lower Ordovician to Permocarboniferous Urasterellidae possessed rounded arms, non-compressed ambulacrals and disc-shaped adambulacrals (Spencer & Wright 1966).

Synapomorphies (from Blake & Hagdorn 2003): Virgals (rod-like ossicles arranged in series that extend laterally from each ambulacral) absent; ossicle homologous to first virgal more or less differentiated relative to second; proximal terminus ambulacral ossicles protruding into mouth; axillary (enlarged, unpaired interbrachial ossicle aligned with inferomarginal series) present (lost in post-Palaeozoic taxa).

<==Asteroidea (see below for synonymy)
    |--Palasteriscidae [Palaechinasteridae, Platanasteridae] SW66
    |    |--Platanaster Spencer 1919 BH03, SW66
    |    |    `--*P. ordovicus Spencer 1919 SW66
    |    `--Palasteriscus Stürtz 1886 SW66
    |         `--*P. devonicus Stürtz 1886 SW66
    `--+--+--+--Mesopalaeasteridae BH03
       |  |  `--Hudsonasteridae BH03
       |  `--+--Neopalaeasteridae BH03
       |     `--Ambuloasteroidea BH03
       `--Urasterellidae [Roemerasterinae] BH03
            |--Bohemaster Jaekel 1923 (n. d.) SW66
            |    `--*B. primula Jaekel 1923 (n. d.) SW66
            |--Phillipsaster Spencer 1950 SW66
            |    `--*P. coronella (Salter 1857) [=Palaeaster coronella] SW66
            |--Ulrichaster Spencer 1950 SW66
            |    `--*U. ulrichi (Schuchert 1915) [=Urasterella ulrichi] SW66
            |--Salteraster Stürtz 1893 BH03, B02
            |    |--*S. asperrimus (Salter 1857) [=Palaeaster asperrima] SW66
            |    `--S. grandis SW66
            `--Urasterella M’Coy 1851 (see below for synonymy) SW66
                 |--*U. ruthveni Forbes 1858 SW66
                 |--U. thraivensis SW66
                 `--U. verruculosa SW66

Asteroidea incertae sedis:
  Lathanaster BH03
  Palaeasteridae SW66
    |--Australaster Schuchert 1914 (see below for synonymy) SW66
    |    `--*A. giganteus (Etheridge 1892) [=Palaeaster (Monaster) giganteus] SW66
    `--Palaeaster Hall 1852 SW66
         |--*P. niagarensis Hall 1852 SW66
         |--P. exculptus BH03
         `--P. meridionalis Etheridge 1891 F71
  Promopalaeasteraceae SW66
    |--Eoactinidae SW66
    |    |--Eoactis Spencer 1914 SW66
    |    |    `--*E. simplex Spencer 1914 SW66
    |    `--Yarravaster Spencer 1950 SW66
    |         `--*Y. yarraensis (Withers & Keeble 1934) [=Caractacaster yarraensis] SW66
    `--Promopalaeasteridae [Anorthasterinae] SW66
         |--Anorthaster Schuchert 1914 SW66
         |    `--*A. miamiensis (Miller 1880) [=Palaeaster miamiensis] SW66
         |--Kyraster Lehmann 1957 SW66
         |    `--*K. inermis SW66
         `--Promopalaeaster Schuchert 1915 B02
              |--P. speciosus (Meek 1872) (see below for synonymy) SW66
              |--P. bellulus SW66
              |--P. elizae SW66
              `--P. magnificus B00
  Fandasterias Blake 1995 [Fandasteridae] BE03
    `--*F. facetus Blake 1995 BE03
  Xenasteridae [Palaeogoniasteridae, Palaeostellidae] SW66
    |--Xenaster Simonovitsch 1871 BH04 (see below for synonymy)
    |    `--*X. margaritatus Simonovitsch 1871 SW66
    |--Palaeostella Stürtz 1890 [incl. Eifelaster Schöndorf 1909, Palaenectria Stürtz 1893] SW66
    |    `--*P. solida Stürtz 1890 SW66
    |--Agalmaster Schöndorf 1909 SW66
    |    `--*A. miellensis Schöndorf 1909 SW66
    |--Rhenaster Schöndorf 1909 SW66
    |    `--R. schwerdi Schöndorf 1909 BH04
    `--Trimeraster Schöndorf 1909 SW66
         `--*T. parvulus Schöndorf 1909 SW66
  Sturtzaster mitchelli Etheridge 1899 F71
  Plediaster inceptus B00
  Eriaster EL11
  ‘Pentaceros’ Schroeter 1782 (nom. inv.) nec Cuvier & Valenciennes 1829 nec Gray 1840 S64
  Cnemidactis Spencer 1918 [Cnemidactinidae] SW66
    `--*C. girvanensis (Spencer 1918) [=Urasterella girvanensis] SW66
  Eostella Lehmann 1957 (n. d.) SW66
    `--*E. hunsrueckiana Lehmann 1957 (n. d.) SW66
  Hunsrueckaster Lehmann 1957 (n. d.) SW66
    `--*H. peregrinus Lehmann 1957 (n. d.) SW66
  Coelaster Agassiz 1836 (n. d.) SW66
    `--*C. couloni Agassiz 1836 (n. d.) SW66
  Cribellites Tate 1864 (n. d.) SW66
    `--*C. carbonarius Tate 1864 (n. d.) SW66
  Cupulaster Fritsch 1893 (n. d.) SW66
    `--*C. pauper Fritsch 1893 (n. d.) SW66
  ‘Palmasterias’ Savi & Meneghini 1851 (n. d.) non Blainville in Gervais 1842 SW66
  Rumanaster Popescu-Voitesti 1911 (n. d.) SW66
    `--*R. uhligi Popescu-Voitesti 1911 (n. d.) SW66

Asteroidea [Asteridea, Asteriodea, Asterioidea, Asteromorpha, Astroides, Cirrhigrada, Palaeasteraceae, Phanerozonida, Platyasterida, Pustulosa, Pustulosida, Pustulosina, Uractinina, Urasterina]

Australaster Schuchert 1914 [incl. Monaster Gregory 1899 nec Etheridge 1892 nec Schütt 1895 (ICBN)] SW66

Promopalaeaster speciosus (Meek 1872) [=Palaeaster speciosus; incl. Pa. granulosus Meek 1872 non Hall 1868, *Promopalaeaster granulosus] SW66

Urasterella M’Coy 1851 [incl. Palasteracanthion Stürtz 1886, Proterasteracanthion Stürtz 1886, Roemeraster Stürtz 1886] SW66

Xenaster Simonovitsch 1871 BH04 [incl. Archaeasterias Müller 1855 SW66, Archasterias Simonowitsch 1871 SW66]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B00] Blake, D. B. 2000. The class Asteroidea (Echinodermata): fossils and the base of the crown group. American Zoologist 40: 316–325.

[B02] Blake, D. B. 2002. Compsaster formosus Worthen & Miller (Asteroidea; Echinodermata): a Carboniferous homeomorph of the post-Paleozoic Asteriidae. Paläontologische Zeitschrift 76 (2): 357–367.

[BE03] Blake, D. B., & D. R. Elliott. 2003. Ossicular homologies, systematics, and phylogenetic implications of certain North American Carboniferous asteroids (Echinodermata). Journal of Paleontology 77 (3): 476–489.

[BH03] Blake, D. B., & H. Hagdorn. 2003. The Asteroidea (Echniodermata) of the Muschelkalk (Middle Triassic of Germany). Paläontologische Zeitschrift 77 (1): 23–58.

[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.

[EL11] Erwin, D. H., M. Laflamme, S. M. Tweedt, E. A. Sperling, D. Pisani & K. J. Peterson. 2011. The Cambrian conundrum: early divergence and later ecological success in the early history of animals. Science 334: 1091–1097.

[F71] Fletcher, H. O. 1971. Catalogue of type specimens of fossils in the Australian Museum, Sydney. Australian Museum Memoir 13: 1–167.

[S64] Smith, J. L. B. 1964. Fishes of the family Pentacerotidae. Ichthyological Bulletin 29: 567–578.

[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.

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