Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer
Type: Article
Published: 2020-03-10
Page range: 67–100
Abstract views: 183
PDF downloaded: 7

New species and occurrence records of Japanese Solasteridae and Ganeriidae including a new species of Paralophaster from the North Pacific with an overview of Hyalinothrix

Department of Invertebrate Zoology, National Museumn of Natural History, Washington D.C. 20560
Department of Zoology, National Museum of Nature and Science, Amakubo 4-1-1, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki 305-0005, Japan
Echinodermata deep-sea Japan taxonomy classification Asterinidae Solasteridae Ganeriidae


Japanese waters contain a highly diverse echinoderm fauna including many undiscovered species, especially in deeper-water settings. Molecular phylogenetic data has shown a close relationship between three established families of asteroids, the Asterinidae, the Solasteridae and the Ganeriidae, which are three groups that are well-represented in the region. We present two undescribed species of solasterids, Lophaster cactorum n. sp. and Paralophaster gomo n. sp., the latter represents a genus which had previously been known primarily from Antarctic settings. New occurrence records of the tropical deep-sea Pacific solasterid Rhipidaster vannipes Sladen, 1889 has led to synonymy of Xenorias polyctenius Fisher, 1913. Three undescribed species of Hyalinothrix, Hyalinothrix diversus n. sp., Hyaliothrix enoki n. sp. and Hyalinothrix virtrispinum n. sp. are described. Nepanthia grangei McKnight, 2001 is transferred to Hyalinothrix. A new subfamily, the Hyalinothricinae is established within the Asterinidae, including Tarachaster and Seriaster, which was formerly assigned to the Solasteridae. Knightaster is reassigned to the Asterinidae from the Ganeriidae.



  1. Alalykina, I. (2013) Preliminary data on the composition and distribution of polychaetes in the deep-water areas of the north-western part of the Sea of Japan. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 86–87, 164–171.

    Alton, M. (1966) Bathymetric distribution of sea stars (Asteroidea) off the Northern Oregon coast. Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada, 23 (11), 1673–1714.

    Anderson, R.C. & Shimek, R.L. (1993) A note on the feeding habits of some uncommon sea stars. Zoo Biology, 12, 499–503.

    Ayers, K.L. & Waters, J.M. (2005) Marine biogeographic disjunction in central New Zealand. Marine Biology, 147 (4), 1045–1052.

    Aziz, A. & Jangoux, M. (1985) Four new species and one new subspecies of Asteroidea (Echinodermata) collected by the Siboga expedition in the Indo–Malayan region. Bijdragen tot de Dierkunde, 55 (2), 263–274.

    Baranova, Z.I. (1957) Echinoderms of the Bering Sea. Issledovaniya Dalny-Vostok Morei USSR, 4, 149–266. [In Russian]

    Bell, F. J. (1881). Account of the Echinodermata collected during the Survey of H.M.S. “Alert” in the Straits of Magellan and on the Coast of Patagonia. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London. p. 87-101, p. VIII & IX.

    Bernasconi I. (1964) Asteroideos argentinos. Claves para los órdenes, familias, subfamilies y géneros. Physis, 24, 241–277.

    Bernasconi, I. (1965). Nuevo genero y nueva especie abisal de Goniasteridae (Echinodermata, Asteroidea). Physis. 25 (70), 333–335.

    Blake, D.B. (1978) The taxonomic position of the modern sea-star Cistina Gray, 1840. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 91 (1), 234–241.

    Cameron, R.A. & Holland, N.D. (1983) Electron microscopy of extracellular materials during the development of a sea star, Patiria miniata (Echinodermata: Asteroidea). Cell and Tissue Research, 234 (1), 193–200.

    Carlson, H.R. & Pfister, C.A. (1999) A seventeen-year study of the rose star Crossaster papposus population in a coastal bay in southeast Alaska. Marine Biology, Berlin, 133, 223–230.

    Clark, A.H. (1939). A new genus of starfishes from the Aleutian Islands. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 86 (3061), 497–500

    Clark, A.M. (1962) Asteroidea. B.A.N.Z. Antarctic Research Expedition 1929–1931, B9, 68–70.

    Clark, A.M. (1983) Notes on Atlantic and other Asteroidea.3. The families Ganeriidae and Asterinidae, with description of a new asterinid genus. Bulletin of the British Museum of Natural History, Zoology, 45 (7), 359–380.

    Clark, A.M. (1993) An index of names of recent Asteroidea. Part 2. Valvatida. In: Jangoux, M. & Lawrence, J.M. (Ed.), Echinoderm Studies 4. Balkema, Rotterdam, pp. 187–366.

    Clark, H.E.S. (1970) A new species of Paralophaster (Asteroidea) from New Zealand. Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand, Biological Sciences, 12, 177–179, pl. 1.

    Clark, H.E.S. (1972) Knightster, a new genus of asteroid from Northern New Zealand. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 2 (2), 147–150.

    Clark, H.E.S. & McKnight, D.G. (2001) The Marine Fauna of New Zealand: Echinodermata: Asteroidea (sea-stars), Order Valvatida. NIWA Biodiversity Memoir, 117, 1–270 pp.

    Danielssen, D.C. & Koren, J. (1878) Fra den norske Nordhavsexpedition: Echinodermer. Nyt magazin for naturvidenskaberne.

    Djakonov, A.M. [1950 (1968)] Morskie Zvezdy Morei SSSR T U 34, 1–203. [Translated as Dyakonov. A.M. 1968. Sea stars (Asteroids) of the USSR Seas. Keys to the Fauna of the USSR 34. Zoological Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, ed. By Strelkov, A.A., Israel Program for scientific translations Ltd. Jerusalem, 183 pp.]

    Duncan, P.M. & Sladen, W.P. (1881) A Memoir on the Echinodermata of the Arctic Sea to the West of Greenland. J. van Voorst, London, 82 pp., 6 pls.

    Emson, R.H. & Crump, R.G. (1984) Comparative studies on the ecology of Asterina gibbosa and A. phylactica at Lough Ine. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 64 (1), 35–53.

    Fisher, W.K. (1906) The starfishes of the Hawaiian islands. Bulletin of the United States Fish Commission, 23, 987–1130.

    Fisher, W.K. (1910) New starfishes from the North Pacific. Zoologischer Anzeiger, 35, 568–574.

    Fisher, W.K. (1911a) Hyalinothrix, a new genus of starfishes from the Hawaiian Islands. Proceedings of the United States National Museum, 39, 659–664.

    Fisher, W.K. (1911b) Asteroidea of the North Pacific and adjacent waters. 1. Phanerozonia and Spinulosida. Bulletin of the United States National Museum, 76, i–xiii + 1–420.

    Fisher, W.K. (1913) New starfishes from the Philippine Islands, Celebes, and the Moluccas. Proceedings of the United States National Museum, 46, 201–224.

    Fisher, W.K. (1919) Starfishes of the Philippine seas and adjacent waters. Bulletin of the US National Museum, 3 (1000), 1–547.

    Fisher, W.K. (1940) Asteroidea. Discovery Reports, 20, 69–306.

    Foltz, D., Fatland, S., Eléaume, M., Markello, K., Howell, K., Neil, K. & Mah C. (2013) Global population divergence of the sea star Hippasteria phrygiana corresponds to onset of the last glacial period of the Pleistocene. Marine Biology, 160 (5), 1285–1296.

    Fujikura, K. Lindsay, D., Kitazato, H., Nishida, S. & Shirayama, Y. (2010) Marine Biodiversity in Japanese waters. PLOS One, 5 (8), e11836.

    Gale, A.S. (2011) The phylogeny of post-Paleozoic Asteroidea (Neoasteroidea, Echinodermata). Special Papers in Palaeontology, 38, 112 pp.

    Grieg, J.A. (1932) Echinodermata. Report on the Scientific Results of the “Michael Sars” North Atlantic Deep-sea Expedition 1910. 3(2): 1-47, 5 pls. 10 figs.

    Gray, J.E. (1847). Descriptions of some new genera and species of Asteriadae. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London. 72–83.,

    Hayashi, R. (1939) Solasterids in Japanese waters. Journal of the Faculty of Imperial Science of Hokkaido University, 6 (3), 297–311.

    Hayashi, R. (1940) Contributions to the Classification of the sea-stars of Japan. I. Spinulosa. Journal of the Faculty of Imperial Science of Hokkaido University, 6 (7), 107–204.

    Hayashi, R. (1973a) Seven new species of asteroids from Sagami Bay. Journal of the College of Liberal Arts, Toyama University. Natural. Sciences, 5, 1–13.

    Hayashi, R. (1973b) The Sea-Stars of Sagami Bay. Biological Laboratory, Imperial Household, Tokyo, 114 pp., 18 pls.

    Himmelman, J.H. & Dutill, C. (1991) Distribution, population structure and feeding of subtidal seastars in the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 76, 61–72.

    Imaoka, T., Irimura, S., Okutani, T., Oguro, C, Oji, T., Shigei, M. & Horikawa, H. (1991) Echinoderms from the continental shelf and slope around Japan. Vol. I. Japan Fisheries Resource Conservation Association, Tokyo, 159 pp.

    Imaoka, T., Irimura, S., Okutani, T., Oguro, C, Oji, T. & Kanazawa, K. (1991) Echinoderms from the continental shelf and slope around Japan. Vol. II. Japan Fisheries Resource Conservation Association, Tokyo, 159 pp.

    Jangoux, M. (1984) Les astérides littoraux de Nouvelle-Calédonie. Bulletin du Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Series 4, 6A (Zoologie, Biologie et Ecologie animale), 2, 279–293.

    Jangoux, M. (1986) Les astérides. In: Guille, A., Laboute, P. & Menou, J.L. (Eds.), Guide des étoiles de mer, oursins et autres échinodermes du lagon de Nouvelle-Caleodnie. Faune Tropicale, 25, 111–153.

    Jimi, N., Moritaki, T. & Kajihara, H. (2017) Rare endoparasitic Asteriomyzostomum (Annelida: Asteriomyzostomidae) from Japan, including three new species descriptions and their phylogenetic position within Myzostomida. Parasitology International, 66 (6), 841–847.

    Koehler, R. (1912) Échinodermes nouveaux recueillis dans les mers antarctiques par le ‘Pourquoi Pas?’ (Astéries, Ophiures et Échinides). Zoologischer Anzeiger, 39, 151–163.

    Kogure, Y. & Hayashi, I. (1998) Bathymetric distribution pattern of echinoderms in the Sado Strait, the Japan Sea. Bulletin of the Japan Sea National Fisheries Research Institute, 48, 1–16.

    Koehler, R. (1920). Echinodermata: Asteroidea. Scientific Reports of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition C8, 1-308.

    Kogure, Y. & Kaneko, A. (2010) A solasterid asteroid Seriaster regularis (Echinodermata, Asteroidea, Velatida) found in the Okinawa Islands: The first record from Japanese waters. Bulletin of the Biogeographical Society of Japan, 65, 97–102. [in Japanese]

    Lamb, A. & Hanby, B.P. (2005) Marine life of the Pacific Northwest, A photographic encyclopedia of invertebrates, seaweeds and selected fishes. Harbour Publishing, British Columbia, 398 pp.

    Lambert, P. (2000) Sea Stars of British Columbia, Southeast Alaska, and Puget Sound. Royal British Columbia Museum Handbook. University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver, BC, 186 pp.

    Lee, T-J. & Shin, S. (2009) A Newly Recorded Sea Star of the Genus Lophaster (Asteroidea: Velatida) from Korea. Animal Systematics, Evolution and Diversity, 25 (3), 331–333.

    Linchangco, G.V., Foltz, D.W., Reid, R., Williams, J., Nodzak, C., Kerr, A.M., Miller, A.K., Hunter, R., Wilson, N.G., Nielsen, W.J., Mah, C.L., Rouse, G.W., Wray, G.A. & Janies, D.A. (2017) The phylogeny of extant starfish (Asteroidea: Echinodermta) including Xyloplax based on comparative transcriptomics. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 115, 161–170.

    Ludwig, H. (1900). Arktische Seesterne. Fauna Arctica. 1(3), 447–502.

    Ludwig, H. (1905) Asteroidea. Memoirs of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard, 32, 1–292.

    Mah, C. (1998) New Records, Taxonomic Notes and a Checklist of Hawaiian Starfish. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers, 55, 65–71.

    Mah, C.L. (2018) World Asteroidea Database. Solasteridae Viguier, 1878. Accessed from: http:// (accessed 16 July 2018)

    Mah, C.L. (2018b) World Asteroidea Database. Ganeriidae Sladen, 1889. Accessed from: http:// (accessed 27 July 2018)

    Mah, C.L. & Foltz, D.W. (2011) Molecular Phylogeny of the Valvatacea (Asteroidea, Echinodermata). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 161, 769–788.

    Matsubara, M., Komatsu, M. & Wada, H. (2004) Close relationship between Asterina and Solasteridae (Asteroidea) supported by both nuclear and mitochondrial gene molecular phylogenies. Zoological Science, 21, 785–793.

    Mauzey, K.P., Birkeland, C. & Dayton, P.K. (1968) Feeding behavior of asteroids and escape responses of their prey in the Puget Sound region. Ecology, 49, 603–619.

    McClintock, J.B., Baker, B.J., Amsler, C.D. & Barlow, B.L. (2000) Chemotactic tube-foot responses of the spongivorous sea star Perknaster fuscus to organic extracts of sponges from McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. Antarctic Science, 12 (1), 41–46.

    McKnight, D.G. (2006) The Marine Fauna of New Zealand: Echinodermata: Asteroidea (sea- stars). 3. Orders Velatida, Spinulosida, Forcipulatida, Brisingida with addenda to Paxillosida, Valvatida. NIWA Biodiversity Memoir, 120, 1–187.

    Miyawaki, K., Yamamoto, M., Saito, K., Saito, S., Kobayashi, N. & Matsuda, S. (2003) Nuclear localization of β-catenin in vegetal pole cells during early embryogenesis of the starfish Asterina pectinifera. Development, Growth & Differentiation, 45 (2), 121–128.

    Mortensen, T. (1932). The Godthaab Expedition 1928 Echinoderms. Meddelelser om Gronland. 79 (2), 1–62, 1 plate.

    Ogasawara, K. (1994) Neogene paleogeography and marine climate of the Japanese Islands based on shallow-marine molluscs. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 108 (3–4), 335–351.

    O’Hara, T., Mah, C.L., Hipsley, C.A., Bribiesca-Contreras, G. & Barrett, N.S. (2018) The Derwent River seastar: re-evaluation of a critically endangered marine invertebrate. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 186 (2), 1–8.

    O’Loughlin, P.M. & Waters J.W. (2004) A molecular and morphological revision of genera of Asterinidae (Echinodermata: Asteroidea). Memoirs of Museum Victoria, 61 (1), 1–40.

    Perrier, E. (1884). Mémoire sur les étoiles de mer recueilliés dans la mer des Antilles et le Golfe du Mexique : durant les expéditions de dragace faites sous la direction de M. Alexandre Agassiz. Archives (Muséum national d’histoire naturelle (France)). 2. sér., t. 6, 127–276.

    Ray, R.W. & Osman, R.W. (1981) Predation by Patiria miniata (Asteroidea) on bryozoans: Prey diversity may depend on the mechanism of succession. Oecologia, 51 (3), 300–309.

    Sladen, W.P. (1889) Report on the Asteroidea. Report on the Scientific Results of the Voyage of H.M.S. Challenger during the years 1873–1876, Zoology, 30 (51), xlii + 893 pages, 118 plates.

    Spencer, W.K. & Wright, C.W. (1966) Asterozoans, Part U: Echinodermata In: Moore, R.C (Ed.), Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, University of Kansas Press, Lawrence, 3 (1), U4–U107.

    VanVeldhuizen, H.D. & Oakes, V.J. (1981) Behavioral responses of seven species of asteroids to the asteroid predator, Solaster dawsoni (responses of asteroids to the predator Solaster dawsoni). Oecologia, 48 (2), 214–220.

    Verrill, A.E. (1878). Art. XX. Notice of recent additions to the marine fauna of the eastern coast of North America. No. 1. American Journal of Science and Arts. 3 (16), 207–215.