The Echinoid Directory

Cardiaster Forbes, 1850, p. 422

Diagnostic Features
  • Test cordiform; anterior sulcus deep with relatively sharp carina.
  • Apical disc of standard holasteroid structure with four gonopores.
  • Paired ambulacra with conjugate and elongate pore-pairs. Columns of pore-pairs in anterior paired ambulacra markedly narrower in width than those forming the posterior column.
  • Frontal groove continuous from apex to peristome; mouth facing obliquely towards anterior.
  • Plastron plating meridosternous with two or three uniserial plates following the labral plate - these plates wedge-shaped.
  • Sternal plate similar in size to succeeding plates.
  • Enlarged primary tubercles bordering the inner edge of the anterior groove. Also present periapically and along the posterior interradius behind the apical disc.
  • Marginal fasciole present around the lateral and posterior of the test.
Upper Cretaceous (Turonian to Maastrichtian).
Name gender masculine
Spatangus cordiformis Woodward, 1853, p. 50 [=Spatangus granulosus Goldfuss, 1826, p. 148], by original designation.
Species Included
  • C. pseudoplanus Smith & Wright, 2003; Turonian, UK.
  • C. integer (Agassiz, in Agassiz & Desor, 1847); Santonian, western Europe.
  • C. cordiformis (Woodward, 1833); Campanian, western Europe.
  • C. granulosus (Goldfuss, 1829); Maastrichtian, Europe, North America, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.
  • C. rutoti (Lambert, 1911); Campanian-Maastrichtian, Europe, Ukraine.
  • C. leonensis Stephenson, 1941; Maastrichtian, USA.
  • C. palmeri Sanchez Roig, 1949. Late Cretaceous, Cuba.
  • C. jugatus Schluter, 1897; Campanian, Germany.
Classification and/or Status

Holasteroida, Cardiasteridae.

Paraphyletic as currently construed by exclusion of Infulaster and Hagenowia.


Differs from Pseudholaster and Protocardiaster in having a metasternous plastron rather than a protosternous plastron, and from Pseudholaster in having a marginal fasciole. Differs from Infulaster in having the apical disc subcentral rather than anterior and with the anterior genital plates separate, not fused. It also differs from Infulaster in having sternal plates distinctly offset to left and right rather than forming a uniserial column. Differs from Giraliaster in lacking a subanal fasciole. Early species currently assigned to Cardiaster are intermediate between the type species and Pseudholaster and may have protosternous plastron plating.

Forbes, E. 1850. Figures and descriptions illustrative of British organic remains, Decade 3. Memoirs of the Geological Survey of the United Kingdom.

Smith, A. B. & Wright, C. W. 2003. British Cretaceous echinoids. Part 7, Atelostomata, 1. Holasteroida. Palaeontographical Society Monographs, London. Pp. 440-568, pls 139-182.