The Echinoid Directory

Metalia Gray, 1855, p. 51

[=Xanthobrissus Agassiz, 1863, p. 28, type species X. garreti Agassiz, 1863; =Prometalia Pomel, 1883, p. 34, type species Brissus robillardi de Loriol, 1876, p.9; = Eobrissus  Bell, 1904, p. 236, type species E. townsendi bell, 1904; = Metaliopsis Fourtau, 1913, p. 68, type species Echinus maculosus Gmelin, 1788; =Radiobrissus Fourtau, 1913, p. 66, type species R. gneffensis Fourtau, 1913 ]

Diagnostic Features
  • Test ovate with narrow, relatively shallow anterior sulcus.
  • Apical disc ethmolytic, with 4 gonopores; markedly anterior of centre.
  • Anterior ambulacrum narrow and sunken; pore-pairs small, simple isopores; continuing as shallow groove to mouth.
  • Other ambulacra petaloid; petals narrow and sunken, the anterior pair almost at 180 degrees; petals parallel-sided with little perradial space separating the two columns of pore-pairs. Ends of petals with occluded plates.
  • Posterior petals subparallel and can be almost confluent adapically; but diverging adambitally.
  • Periproct large, on short posterior face. Slight subanal heel often developed.
  • Peristome wider than long; kidney-shaped; facing largely downwards.
  • Labral plate short and wide and not extending beyond first ambulacral plate. Sternal-episternal junction typically concave to rear. Episternal plates paired and narrowing to posterior.
  • Spines and tubercles within peripetalous fasciole not significantly enlarged.
  • Well-developed subanal fasciole and peripetalous faciole. Subanal fasciole shield-shaped and with anal branches.
Miocene, Egypt to Recent, Indo-Pacific.
Name gender feminine
Spatangus sternalis Lamarck, 1816, p. 326, by original designation.
Species Included
  • M. sternalis (Lamarck, 1816); Recent, Indo-Pacific.
  • M. robillardi (de Loriol, 1876); Recent, Indian Ocean.
  • M. spatagus (Linnaeus, 1758); Recent, Indo-West Pacific.
  • M. nobilis Verrill, 1867; Recent, western coast of central America.
  • M. townsendi (Bell, 1904); Recent, Persin Gulf and Red Sea.
  • M. dicrana Clark, 1917; Recent, Pacific.
  • M. latissima Clark, 1925; Recent, no locality data.
  • M. persica (Mortensen, 1940); Recent, Iranian Gulf
  • M. gneffensis (Fourtau, 1913); Miocene, Egypt.
Classification and/or Status

Spatangoida, Micrasterina, Brissidae.

Presumed monophyletic.


Very close to Plagiobrissus, distinguished only by the lack of primary tubercles inside the peripetalous fasciole and by having the peripetalous fasciole indented by at least one plate immediately behind the anterior paired petals.

See Coppard (2008) for detailed treatment of this genus.

Coppard, S. E. 2008. A comparative analysis of the spatangoid echinoid genera Brissopsis and Metalia: a new species and genus of spatangoid (Echinodermata: Echinoidea: Brissopsidae) from the Philippines and the reassignment of Brissopsis persica to Metalia. Zootaxa 1760, 1-23.

Gray, J. E. 1855. Catalogue of the Recent Echinidi in the British Museum. British Museum, London

Mortensen, T. 1951. A monograph of the Echinoidea. V. Spatangoida 2. C. A. Reitzel, Copenhagen.