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Revista de Biología Tropical

On-line version ISSN 0034-7744Print version ISSN 0034-7744

Rev. biol. trop vol.63  suppl.2 San José Jun. 2015 


Fossil Asterozoa (Echinodermata) of Argentina

Fósiles de Asterozoa (Echinodermata) de Argentina

Sergio Martínez1 

Claudia del Río2 

1Universidad de la República, Facultad de Ciencias, Dpto. de Evolución de Cuencas, Iguá 4225, 11400 Montevideo, Uruguay;

2Claudia J. del Río. Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales B. Rivadavia, A. Gallardo 470, C1405DJR, Buenos Aires, Argentina;


Thefossil Asterozoa of Argentina have received scant attention. Marine rocks of Early Devonian-Late Miocene age yield ten species of Asterozoa (four Asteroidea and six Ophiuroidea), including the new Neogene record of Astropecten sp. presently introduced. Due to homonymy, Marginix nomen novum is proposed as a substitution of Marginura (Ophiuroidea, Encrinasteridae). Rev. Biol. Trop. 63 (Suppl. 2): 1-6. Epub 2015 June 01.

Key words: Asterozoa; Ophiuroidea; Asteroidea; Devonian; Cretaceous; Tertiary; Argentina


Se registran 10 especies de Asterozoa fósiles de Argentina (cuatro Asteroidea y seis Ophiuroidea), desde el Devónico Temprano hasta el Mioceno Tardío, incluyendo un nuevo registro de Astropecten sp. Por homonimia, Marginix nomen novum es propuesto para sustituir a Marginura (Ophiuroidea, Encrinasteridae).

Palabras claves: Asterozoa; Ophiuroidea; Asteroidea; Devónico; Cretácico; Terciario; Argentina

Although uncommon in South America, fossil Asterozoa of Argentina are fairly well documented but have received scant attention. This is a brief reference to these findings (Fig. 1), also incorporating to the list a new record of the genus Astropecten for the Neogene of Patagonia. It was recorded a total of 10 species: four from the Devonian (three ophiuroids and one asteroid), one from the Cretaceous (asteroid), one from the Maastrichtian-Danian (asteroid), one from the Eocene (ophiuroid), and three from the Miocene (two ophiuroids and one asteroid). It must be pointed out that those merely mentions of high taxonomic ranks (e.g. Bertels, 1965; Pérez et al., 2011), and any reference without factual basis (e.g. de Sáez, 1928) have been excluded from the present summary.

Abbreviations used in this paper:

CNP-PIIc. Centro Nacional Patagónico, Paleontological Collection, Argentina

CORD PZ. Museo de Paleontología, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina.

CPBA. Cátedra de Paleontología de la Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina.

IMGP. Göttinger Geologisch-Paläontologischen Instituts.

MACN- Pi. Colección de Paleontología Invertebrados, Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Bernardino Rivadavia”, Argentina.

MLP. Museo de La Plata, Argentina.

NYSM. New York State Museum, USA.

Fig. 1 Localities mentioned in the text. 1. Jachal. 2. Pampa Tril. 3. Península Valdés. 4 Punta Maqueda. 5. Punta Torcida. 


Class Asteroidea Blainville, 1830

Order Paxillosida Perrier, 1884

Family Astropectinidae Gray, 1840

Genus PentasteriaValette, 1929

Pentasteria (Archastropecten) wilckensis (de Loriol, 1905)Fig. 2A

1905. Astropecten Wilckensis de Loriol, p. 25 pl. III. Figs. 8 - 9.

1905. Astropecten Wilckensis: Wilckens, p. 55. 1929. Astropecten Wilckensis: Valette, p. 416.

1944. Astropecten Wilckensis, Hérenguer, p. 45. 1955. Archastropecten wilckensis: Hess, p. 45.

Type material

Presumably lost. Hess (1955:46) proposed as Holotype the specimen illustrated in Plate 3, Figure 8 from de Loriol (1905), here reproduced in Fig. 2 A.

Geographic and stratigraphic distribution

“Cerro Cazador, Patagonie méridionale. Crétacé” (de Loriol, 1905); Wilckens (1905) precises the location in Sierra Dorotea, “h” and “i” beds of Cerro Cazador strata; today included in the Maastritchtian-Danian Río Chico Formation, Argentina (Malumián & Panza, 2000).


According to Hess (1960) and Spencer & Wright (1966), Archastropecten Hess, 1955 is a subgenus of PentasteriaValette, 1929.

Fig. 2 A. Pentasteria (Archastropecten) wilckensi (de Loriol, 1905) (from de Loriol, 1905: pl. 3, Fig. 8). B. Argentinaster bodenbenderiRuedemann, 1916 (Holotype, from Ruedemann, 1916: pl. 18, Fig. 6). 

Astropecten sp.

Fig. 3 A

Type material: MACN- Pi 5414.

Geographic and stratigraphic distribution: Two km south from Punta Maqueda, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina. Chenque Formation, Early Miocene.

Comments: The present comprises the first mention of this genus for the Neogene strata of Argentina. The preservation of the available material prevent us to identify it at species level.

Genus Tethyaster Sladen, 1889

Tethyaster antares

Fernández, Pérez, Luci & Carrizo

2014. Tethyaster antares Fernández, Pérez, Luci & Carrizo, p. 214, Figs. 4 - 5.

Type material: Holotype CPBA 16991 (Fernández et al. 2014).

Geographic and stratigraphic distribution: Lowermost beds of the Mulichinco Formation at the Pampa Tril locality (37º 15’ S - 69º 47’ W), Neuquén Basin, Argentina. Early Cretaceous (Fernández et al., 2014).

Order Valvatida Perrier, 1884

Family Promopalaeasteridae Schuchert, 1914

Genus Promopalaeaster Schuchert 1914

Promopalaeaster ? quadriserialis

Haude, 1995

1897. Seesterne: Kayser, p. 303. (partim) 1995. Promopalaeaster ? quadriserialis Haude, p. 58, Figs. 8 - 9.

2010. Ofiuroideo. Benedetto, Fig. 5.32.4.

Type material: Holotype Fig. 9A of Haude

(1995) (latex pull of IMGP Gö 494-(VII)86. Paratypes IMGP Gö-494-(VI)-84, -(VII)87, -(IX)-97a, b, -(IX)-10la, b, -(IX)-loSa, b, -(VIl)-IIS, -(V)-118; CORD PZ-151.4(?) (Haude, 1995).

Geographic and stratigraphic distribution: Surroundings of Jachal, San Juan Province. Talacasto Formation, Early Devonian (Haude 1995, 2010).

Class Ophiuroidea Gray, 1840

Order Oegophiurida Matsumoto, 1915

Family Encrinasteridae Schuchert 1914 Genus Marginix nomen novum

Comments:Haude (1995) erected the genus Marginaster, but the name was occupied by MarginasterPerrier, 1881 (Asteroidea, Poraniidae). In consequence, Haude (1999) proposed the new name Marginura as a substitute. But MarginuraSellnick, 1926 (p. 38) (Arthropoda, Arachnida, Acari) also occupies this name; therefore we propose Marginix nomen novum as a replacement of Marginura Haude (non Marginura Sellnick) The new name retains the stem “margin”, adding the latin suffix - ix.

Fig. 3 A. Astropecten sp. (photo from the authors). B. Marginix yachalensis (Ruedemann, 1916), rubber pull from the Holotype (see also comment in Haude 1999) (photo from Ed Landing, NYSM). C. Ophioderma bonaudoaeMartínez & del Río, 2008, Holotype (photo from the authors). D. Ophiocrossota kollembergorumCaviglia, Martínez & del Río, 2007, specimen w/n in the field (photo from the authors). 

Marginix yachalensis (Ruedemann, 1916) Fig. 3.B

1897. “Bruchstück eines Seesternes”: Kayser, p. 303. pl. 12., Fig. 2.

1916. Encrinaster yachalensis Ruedemann, p.117, pl 18, Figs. 1 - 5.

1966. Encrinaster jachalensis: Castellaro, p. 46.

1995. Marginaster yachalensis: Haude, p. 64, Figs. 10 - 11.

1999. Marginura yachalensis: Haude, p. 292. 2013. Marginura yachalensis: Martin-Medrano & García-Barrera, p. 505.

Type material: Holotype NYSM 7762.

Other material: Haude (1995): IMGP Gö 494(1I)-69a, IMGP Gö 494(II)-69b, -(V)-119; CORD PZ 151.1

Geographic and stratigraphic distribution: Surroundings of Jachal, San Juan Province. Talacasto Formation, Early Devonian (Haude 1995, 2010).

Family Furcasteridae Stürtz, 1886 Genus Furcaster Stürtz, 1886

Furcaster separatusHaude 1995

Type material: Holotype: an individual from IMGP Gö 494-(VII) J88, there is a cast named as Abb. 12A, B; Paratype l:-.tGP Gö 494-(XI)-1 H (Haude, 1995).

Geographic and stratigraphic distribution: Surroundings of Jachal, San Juan Province. Talacasto Formation, Early Devonian (Haude 1995, 2010).

Order Ophiurida Müller & Troschel, 1840

Family Ophiodermatidae Ljungman, 1867

Genus Ophioderma Müller & Troschel, 1842

Ophioderma bonaudoae

Martínez & del Río, 2008

Fig. 3.C

2005. Ophiurida: Martínez et al., p.63. 2008. Ophioderma bonaudoae Martínez & del Río, p. 47, plate 1, Figs. A - G.

Type material: Holotype CNP-PIIc 00233, Paratype CNP-PIIc 00234 (Martínez & del Río, 2008)

Geographic and stratigraphic distribution: Estancia San Lorenzo, 18 km west to Punta Norte, Península Valdés, Chubut Province, Argentina. Puerto Madryn Formation, Late Miocene (Martínez & del Río 2008).

Family Ophiurinidae Gregory, 1897

Genus ArgentinasterRuedemann, 1916

Argentinaster bodenbenderi

Ruedemann, 1916 Fig. 2. B

1897. “Stelleriden und Ophiuriden”: Kayser, p. 303.

1916. Argentinaster bodenbenderiRuedemann, 1916, p.118, pl.18, Figs. 6-7. Figs. 38 - 39. 1966. Argentinaster bodenbenderi: Castellaro, p.47

1966. Argentinaster bodenbenderi: Spencer & Wright, p. U93.

1989. Argentinaster: Waisfeld, p. 276.

1995. Argentinaster bodenbenderi: Haude, p. 72, Figs. 13 - 14.

Type material: Holotype NYSM 7760

(number not provided in the original paper).

Other Material: IMGP Gö 494-(III)-73a,

b. -(III)-74a, b, -(VI)-80, -(XII)-107, -(XII)108; CORD PZ 131-2 (Haude 1995).

Geographic and stratigraphic distribution: Surroundings of Jachal, San Juan Province. Talacasto Formation, Early Devonian (Haude 1995, 2010).

Family Ophiuridae Müller & Troschel, 1840

Genus Ophiura Lamarck 1801

“Ophiura” elegantoides

Furque & Camacho, 1949

1949. Ophiura elegantoides Furque & Camacho, p. 277, pl.1, Fig. 1.

2005. Ophiura elegantoides: Malumián & Olivero, p. 350.

Type material: Not stated in the original paper. Presumably lost.

Geographic and stratigraphic distribution: Punta Torcida, Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego. According to Furque and Camacho (1949), the specimen was recorded in the “Estratos de Leticia”, of Late Cretaceous age, today placed in the Punta Torcida Formation (Lower Eocene) (Olivero & Malumián, 1999). More recently, Malumián and Olivero (2005) mention to have recorded numerous fragments of this species in the “coastal exposures”of the Leticia Formation (Upper-Middle Eocene).

Genus Ophiocrossota Clark, 1928

Ophiocrossota kollembergorum

Caviglia, Martínez & del Río 2007 Fig. 3. D

2007. Ophiocrossota kollembergorum Caviglia, Martínez & del Río, p. 150, Figs. 2 - 3.

Type material: Holotype MLP 12465, Paratype: MLP 12466 (Caviglia et al., 2007).

Geographic and stratigraphic distribution: Two km south from Punta Maqueda, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina. Chenque Formation, Early Miocene (Caviglia et al., 2007).


We are very grateful to Ed Landing for giving information and photos of NYSM specimens, to Lionel Cavin for the search of de Loriol’s type material, and to Rodrigo Salvador, Antonio Carlos Siqueira Fernandes and Luïc Villier for provinding bibliography.


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Received: July 07, 2014; Revised: October 10, 2014; Accepted: October 13, 2014

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