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A new viviparous species of asterinid (Echinodermata, Asteroidea,Asterinidae) and a new genus to accommodate the species of pantropical exiguoid sea stars



This paper describes a new species of viviparous, intragonadal brooder of asterinid sea star and clarifies the identities of Patiriella pseudoexigua Dartnall 1971, the species Patiriella pseudoexigua sensu Chen and Chen (1992) and Patiriella pseudoexigua pacifica (Hayashi, 1977). The latter is raised to specific rank. Analysis of mitochondrial DNA supports the concept of a pan-tropical assemblage of species for which a new genus, Cryptasterina, is created. All species in Cryptasterina are morphologically similar and comprise species with planktonic, lecithotrophic, non-feeding larvae, and viviparous outlier species with limited distributions. The full diversity of this species diaspora remains to be resolved.


Echinodermata; Asteroidea; Asterinidae; Cryptasterina new genus; new species; new combination; cryptic species; developmental biology; viviparity; tropical

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