The Echinoid Directory

Ova Gray, 1825, p. 431

[=Nina Gray, 1855, p. 60 (objective). ]

Diagnostic Features
  • Test ovate with deep anterior sulcus; slightly pointed to rear and carinate.
  • Apical disc ethmolytic, with 2 gonopores; anterior genital plates imperforate.
  • Anterior ambulacrum deeply sunken adapically, becoming less pronounced towards the ambitus; pore-pairs specialized and associated with funnel-building tube-feet. Pore-pairs in offset double column on each side of wide groove in the type species, but uniserially arranged in other species.
  • Other ambulacra also deeply sunken, anterior petals much longer and more flexed than posterior petals.
  • Periproct small and marginal, on near-vertical truncate face. 5-7 subanal penicillate tube-feet.
  • Peristome labiate; wider than long.
  • Labral plate short and wide; in broad contact with sternal plates; not reaching start of ambulacral plate 2 at rear.
  • Plastron wide and ovate, episternal plates not paired and opposite and not forming significant part of plastronal area.
  • Aboral tuberculation fine, uniform and dense.
  • Well-developed peripetalous and latero-anal fascioles.
Eocene to Recent, cosmopolitan.
Name gender feminine
Spatangus canaliferus Lamarck 1816; SD ICZN op. 209, 1948 [non Ova Pomel 1887, p. 701; (=Nina Gray, 1855, p. 60)].
Species Included
  • Includes many of the species formally classified as Schizaster, including:
  • O. subcylindricus; Eocene, Cuba.
  • O. saheliensis (Pomel, 1887); Upper Miocene - Pliocene, circum Mediterranean.
  • O. lacunosus (Linnaeus, 1758); Recent, Indo-Pacific.
  • O. edwardsi Cotteau, 1889; Recent, east coast of Africa.
  • O. orbignyanus Agassiz, 1880; Recent, north west Atlantic.
  • O. desori Wright, 1855; Miocene, Mediterranean.
  • O. canaliferus (Lamarck 1816); Recent, Mediterranean.
Classification and/or Status

Spatangoida, Paleopneustina, Schizasteridae.

Monophyly suspect.


Differs from Schizaster in having two gonopores rather than four. In the pore-pairs of the frontal groove are uniserially arranged except in the type species where pore-pairs are arranged as a double column. Hypselaster is very similar but has an incomplete latero-anal fasciole.

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

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