Affinities of a number of sea star families belonging to the orders Valvatida and Spinulosida have long been considered problematic. Characters traditionally Used in ordinal recognition are discussed and it is concluded that primary emphasis has been placed on features readily subject to convergent evolution. In the past, skeletal morphology has received relatively little taxonomic emphasis, but these data are used here to argue in favour of the transfer of the Ganeriidae, Asterinidae and Poraniidae from the Spinulosida to the Valvatida. Revised characterizations and familial content for the Valvatida and Spinulosida are suggested.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics