The Echinoid Directory

Parasalenia A. Agassiz, 1863, p. 22

[=Cladosalenia A. Agassiz, 1872, p. 148 (objective); ?=Plagiechinus Pomel, 1883, type species Parasalenia grosseleti Cotteau, 1894; ?= Diplosalenia Mortensen, 1942, p. 232, type species Parasalenia grosseleti Cotteau, 1894 ]

Diagnostic Features
  • Test outline elliptical, with long axis passing through ocular plate III and genital plate 5.
  • Apical disc dicyclic with valve-like periproctal plates.
  • Ambulacral plating trigeminate, with pore-pairs in vertical, arcuate series. One primary tubercle to each compound plate, occupying almost the entire plate.
  • Interambulacral plates with single large primary tubercle.
  • Globiferous pedicellaria without lateral teeth on blade; no muscular neck.
  • Spines relatively long; cylindrical and never facetted.
Lower Miocene to Recent; Indo-West Pacific; 0-70 m.
Name gender feminine
Parasalenia gratiosa A. Agassiz, 1864, by original designation.
Species Included
  • P. gratiosa Agassiz, 1864; Recent, Indo-West Pacific.
  • P. poehlii Pfeffer, 1887; Recent, Indo-West Pacific.
  • P. fontannesi Cotteau, 1888; Miocene (Aquitanian), France.
Classification and/or Status

Camarodonta; Echinoida; Echinometridae.



The trigeminate ambulacra and elliptical test outline make this readily identifiable. Its axis of elongation differs slightly from that of the Heterocentrotus group and Echinometra. It is primarily found in reefal settings.

Agassiz, A. 1863. List of echinoderms sent to different institutions in exchange for other specimens. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard College, 1 (2), 17-28.

Mortensen (1943) placed Parasalenia in its own monogeneric family, on account of it having rather unusual globiferous pedicellarial morphology and trigeminate ambulacral plating. However, in other respects it resembles the Echinometridae. It may be sister group to other echinometrid genera.

Mortensen, T. 1943. A monograph of the Echinoidea. III, 3 Camarodonta. C. A. Reitzel, Copenhagen.