The Echinoid Directory

Brisaster Gray, 1855, p. 61

[=Lymanaster Lambert 1920, p. 162, type species Schizaster townsendi A. Agassiz, 1898; =Indiaster Lambert, 1920, p. 27, type species Brisaster indicus Koehler, 1914; =Neoproraster Markov, 1994, p. 82, type species Neoproraster bajarunasi Markov, 1994 ]

Diagnostic Features
  • Test cordiform, with deep anterior sulcus; posterior face truncate. Test depressed in profile.
  • Apical disc ethmolytic with three gonopores (no gonopore in G2); slightly posterior of centre.
  • Anterior ambulacrum sunken from apex. Pore-pairs well developed, with funnel-building tube-feet; arranged uniserially; rosette with radiating finger-like elements.
  • Petals well developed; sunken. The anterior pair long and flexed anteriorly, the posterior less than half the length and less strongly depressed.
  • Peristome close to anterior border and facing forward into frontal groove. Labrum projecting to cover peristome in oral view.
  • Plastron plating with short mushroom-shaped labral plate not projecting beyond middle of first ambulacral plate. Sternal plates symmetrical. Episternal plates forming rear part of plastron.
  • Periproct on posterior truncate face.
  • Peripetalous fasciole present; passing around distal ends of petals. Latero-anal fasciole usually present, but may be partial or completely absent in adults of some species.
Late Cretaceous to Recent; 40-1300 m.
Name gender masculine
Brissus fragilis Duben & Koren, 1846, p. 280; by original designation.
Species Included
  • B. maximus Clark, 1937; Oligocene, Oregon, USA.
  • B. fragilis (Duben & Koren, 1846); Recent, North Atlantic.
  • B. capensis (Studer, 1880); Recent, South Africa.
  • B. antarcticus (Doderlein, 1906); Recent, Antarctic.
  • B. inaequalis (Forbes, 1846); late Cretaceous, southern India. [includes B. rana (Forbes, 1846), late Cretaceous, southern India].
  • B. townsendi (Agassiz, 1898); Recent, west coast of North America.
  • B. latifrons (Agassiz, 1898); Recent, west coast of North America.
  • B. owstoni Mortensen, 1950; Pliocene-Recent, Japan.
  • B. moseleyi (Agassiz, 1881); Recent, southern S America.
  • B. kerguelensis Clark; Recent, Kerguelen Islands.
  • B. tasmanicus McKnight 1974; Recent, New Zealand.
  • B. bajarunasi (Markov, 1994); Palaeocene, Kazakhstan.
Classification and/or Status

Spatangoida, Paleopneustina, Schizasteridae.

Presumed monophyletic.


Differs from Schizaster and Ova in having three gonopores and a rather distinctive globiferous pedicellaria with a single terminal tooth and offset poison-gland opening. Differs from Aceste in having petaloid ambulacra. The genus was recently revised by Hood & Mooi (1998).

Gray, J. E. 1855. An arrangement of the families of Echinida, with descriptions of some new genea and species. Proceedings of the Zoological Society, London, 23, 35-39.

Lindley (2001, p. 135) reports a Brisaster latifrons (Agassiz) from the Upper Oligocene - Lower Miocene of Papua New Guinea.

Lindley, I.D. 2001. Tertiary echinoids from Papua New Guinea. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 123, 119-139.

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

Hood, S. & Mooi, R. 1998. Taxonomy and phylogenetics of extant Brisaster (Echinoidea: Spatangoida). Pp. 681-686 in R. Mooi & M. Telford (eds) Echinoderms: San Francisco. A. A. Balkema: Rotterdam.