The Echinoid Directory

Spatangus Gray, 1825, p. 430

[ =Prospatangus Lambert, 1902, p. 55 (objective); = Phymapatagus Lambert, 1910, p. 3, type species Spatangus britannus Michelin, 1868]

Diagnostic Features
  • Test chordate with shallow anterior sulcus; domed upper surface and rounded ambitus with relatively flat base.
  • Apical disc ethmolytic, with 4 gonopores. Madreporic plate extened to rear of apical disc where it widens.
  • Anterior ambulacrum narrow with small simple isopores. No funnel-building tube-feet. Other ambulacra petaloid and flush.
  • Anterior paired petals bowed with upper half of anterior column with rudimentary pore-pairs only. Other pore-pairs large and conjugate. Posterior petals expanding adapically and converging distally.
  • Periproct on short steeply undercut posterior face.
  • Peristome wider than long; kidney-shaped, with projecting labrum.
  • Labral plate anvil-shaped; in broad contact with sternal plates; paired sternal plates relatively broad and fully tuberculate.
  • Plastron formed of sternals and episternals; episternals not contracting towards posterior.
  • Aboral tuberculation heterogenous with scattered coarse tubercules in all interambulacrum. Primary tubercles not sunken in camellae. Somewhat smaller tubercles developed along either side of the frontal groove aborally and along the interradial line behind the apical disc.
  • Well-developed subanal fasciole; bilobed or shield-shaped. No other fascioles developed.

?Eocene, Lower Miocene to Recent, worldwide.

Continental shelf from sublittoral to 1000m + - infaunal.

Name gender masculine
Spatangus purpureus Muller, 1776, p. 236, by ICZN ruling, 1948.
Species Included
  • S. purpureus Muller, 1776; Pliocene to Recent, North Atlantic, Mediterranean.
  • S. raschi Loven, 1869; Pliocene to Recent, North West Atlantic.
  • S. multispinus Mortensen, 1925; Recent, New Zealand.
  • S. capensis Doderlein, 1905; Recent, South Africa.
  • S. californicus Clark, 1917; Recent, Gulf of California.
  • S. altus Mortensen, 1907; Recent, China Sea.
  • S. lutkeni Agassiz, 1872; Recent, Japan.
  • S. pallidus Clark; Pleistocene-Recent, Japan.
  • S. saheliensis Pomel, 1887; Upper Miocene to Pliocene; North Africa and Spain.
  • S. pauper Pomel, 1887; Upper Miocene to Pliocene, Morocco, Algeria, Spain.
  • S. cf. euglyphus Laube, 1868; Lower Miocene (Aquitanian), France (see Cahuzac, B & Roman, J. 1994. Revue de Paleobiologie 13, 351-373).
  • S. subinermis Pomel, 1887; Pliocene-Recent, Mediterranean.
  • S. castelli Taramelli, 1868; Upper Miocene, North Africa.
  • S. corsicus Desor, in Agassiz & Desor, 1847; Miocene, Corsica.
  • S. desmaresti Goldfuss, 1829; Oligocene (Chattian); Germany.
  • S. delphius Defrance, 1827; Miocene, Mediterranean.
  • Other named species not checked.
Classification and/or Status

Spatangoida, Micrasterina, Spatangidae.



Distinguished from Maretia by its more pronounced frontal groove, and its short labral plate that does not extend beyond the first ambulacral plate and is in wide contact with sternal plates. Distinguished from Meoma, which has a similar plastron structure, by its near flush petals which are bowed. Granopatagus is very similar in appearance but lacks primary tubercles aborally.

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

Phillipe, M. 1998. Les echinides Miocenes du Bassin du Rhone: revision systematique. Nouvelles Archives du Museum d\'Histoire naturelle Lyon 36(1/2), 3-251, 249-441.

Neraudeau, D., Borghi, E. & Roman, J. 1998. Le genre d\'echinide Spatangus dans les localites du Pliocene et du Pleistocene d\'Emilie (Italie du Nord). Annales de Paleontologie 84, 243-264.