The Echinoid Directory

Echinocardium Gray, 1825, p. 430

[=Amphidetus Agassiz, 1836, p. 184 (objective) ]

Diagnostic Features
  • Test ovate with or without anterior sulcus; in profile with weakly domed to flat base and upper surface.
  • Apical disc ethmolytic, with 4 gonopores.
  • Anterior ambulacrum flush to moderately sunken aborally; adapical pores single and tube-feet penicillate and specialized for funnel-building where frontal groove is sunken.
  • Tubercles adjacent to frontal groove enlarged and in rows.
  • Other ambulacra petaloid and flush to very slightly depressed. Widening towards apex. Pores equal and conjugate in petals.
  • Periproct on short vertical truncate face; relatively large.
  • Peristome wider than long; kidney-shaped.
  • Labral plate wide and short. Paired sternal plates relatively large and fully tuberculate.
  • Aboral tuberculation generally fine and uniform, but some species with slightly larger primary tubercles developed, especially in anterior interambulacra. Primary tubercles without sunken areoles. Tubercles in lateral interambulacra on oral surface small and never sunken.
  • Well-developed subanal fasciole and inner fasciole. Some species also have anal bands arising from the subanal fasciole.

Early Miocene to Recent, Europe, North America, North Africa, Indo-Pacific.

Intertidal to mid-shelf muddy sands to shell gravels - infaunal.

Name gender neuter
Echinus cordatus Pennant, 1777, p. 58, by ICZN ruling, 1948. (see also Mortensen 1932, p. 356)
Species Included
  • E. cordatum (Pennant, 1777) [includes E. saccoi Gauthier, 1900 and E. sartorii Agassiz)]; Lower Pliocene to Recent, western Europe, Mediterranean, Egypt, New Zealand, Taiwan, Japan.
  • E. flavescens (Muller, 1776); Recent, Atlantic.
  • E. capense Mortensen, 1907 (includes E. mortenseni Thiery, 1909, E. lymani (Lambert, 1917)); Indo-Pacific to New Zealand.
  • E. laevigaster Agassiz, 1869; Recent, Caribbean.
  • E. mediterraneum (Forbes, 1844) [includes E. peroni Cotteau, 1877] Lower to Midde Miocene, France; Recent, Mediterranean.
  • E. pennatifidum Norman, 1868.
  • E. fenauxi Pequinat, 1964 [includes E. marmaricum Fourtau, 1920]; Late Miocene, Egypt, Recent, Mediterranean.
  • E. orthonotum (Conrad, 1843): Upper Miocene and Pliocene, East USA.
  • E. marylandiense Kier, 1972, Upper Miocene, East USA.
  • E. kellogi Kier, 1983; Lower Pliocene, North Carolina.
  • E. depressum (Agassiz, 1847) [includes E. tuberculatum Gauthier, E. granifer Lambert, 1915]; Lower to Middle Miocene, France.
  • E. scurellensis Lambert, in Lambert & Thiery, 1924; Middle Miocene, Italy.
  • E. olisponensis Kotchetoff, Kotchetoff & Ferreira, 1975; Miocene, Portugal
Classification and/or Status

Spatangoida, Micrasterina, Echinocardiidae.



Taxa attributable to this genus but too poorly known to establish if they are valid species include: E. intermedium Loczy, 1877 (Upper Miocene, Hungary), E. geneffense Gauthier, 1901, (Middle Miocene, Egypt). E. leopolitanum Radwanski & Wysocka, 2001 from the Middle Miocene of Ukraine, belongs to the E. cordatum - E. mediterraneum - E.fenauxi complex but is too poorly known to place with any certainty.

E. nummuliticum Peron & Gauthier, 1885 and E. dubium Peron & Gauthier, 1885 (Lower Oligocene, Algeria) are indeterminate to genus and family level.

A great deal has been written about this genus. An excellent account of the taxonomy of the recent species is given by David & Laurin (1996), and an excellent palaeoecological study of one species was provided by Radwanski & Wysocka (2001).

Gray, J. E. 1825. An attempt to divide the Echinida, or sea eggs, into natural families. Annals of Philosophy, new series, 10, 423-431.

David, B. & Laurin, B. 1996. Morphometrics and cladistics: measuring phylogeny in the sea urchin Echinocardium. Evolution 50, 348-359.

Mortensen, T. 1932. Annals and Magazine of Natural History Series 10, 10, p. 356.

Radwanski, A. & Wysocka, A. 2001. Mass aggregation of Middle Miocene spine-coated echinoids Echinocardium and their integrated eco-taphonomy. Acta Geologica Polonica 51, 295-316.