The Echinoid Directory

Family Aeropsidae Lambert, 1896

[=Aeropidae Lambert, 1896, p. 324; includes Corasterinae Lambert & Thiery, 1924, p. 428, type genus Coraster Cotteau, 1886]


  Hemiasterine spatangoids with:

  • test oviform to cylindrical; often very inflated
  • apical disc ethmophract (plating sometimes fused)
  • ambulacra flush aborally; apetaloid to subpetaloid
  • periproct marginal to supramarginal
  • plastron and periplastron plating highly elongate. Labrum extending to second ambulacral plate and approximately the same length as the sternal plates. Sternal plates very narrow. Episternal plates offset and at rear of oral surface. Ambulacral plate 4 adjacent to rear of sternal plates and ambulacral plate 5 adjacent to rear of episternal plate
  • peripetalous fasciole usually present; highly oblique and passing subambitally around the anterior.
Cenomanian to Recent; Europe, North Africa central Asia, Atlantic, Pacific.

The composition of this family has altered considerably. Originally Lambert (1896, p. 324) included a large number of genera on the basis of their apetaloid ambulacra. As Mortensen (1950) pointed out this was a hotch-potch of unrelated genera, some holasteroid, others spatangoid.

Mortensen (1950) included just two genera in the Aeropsidae, Aceste and Aeropsis. The two forms are very different in test architecture and Aceste is here considered to be an apetaloid derivative of Proraster and thus not closely related. The fossil Sphenaster represents the sister taxon to Aeropsis and links Aeropsis back to Coraster and its relatives. Corasterinae Lambert & Thiery, 1924, p. 428, is therefore here treated as the paraphyletic stem group to the Aeropsidae.

Lambert, J. 1896. Note sur quelques Echinides cretaces de Madagascar. Bulletin de la Societe geologique du France serie 3, 24, 313-331.

Mortensen, T. 1950. A monograph of the Echinoidea. V. Spatangoida 1. C. A. Reitzel, Copenhagen.