Category Archives: Asteroidea

Heliaster solaris A. H. Clark

24-rayed Sunstar (Heliaster solaris)

The 24-rayed Sunstar was described in 1840 as Asterias multiradiata Gray, a name that was already used for another species and that thus was replaced in 1920.

The species was endemic to the Galápagos Island group, where it appears to have been strictly restricted to the waters around the Isla Espanola.

The 24-rayed Sunstar disappeared during the El Niño southern oscillation event which affected the Galápagos Islands in 1982/83.


It appears very remarkable, at least to me, that all these extinctions of sealife from the Galápagos Islands in 1982/83 remained almost unnoticed til today.



[1] Graham J. Edgar; Stuart A. Banks; Margarita Brandt; Rodrigo H. Bustamantes; Angel Chiriboga; Lauren E. Garske; Peter W. Glynn; Jack S. Grove; Scott Henderson; Cleve P. Hickman; Kathy A. Miller; Fernando Rivera; Gerald M. Wellington: El Niño, grazers and fisheries interact to greatly elevate extinction risk for Galapagos marine species. Global Change Biology 16: 2876-2890. 2010


edited: 29.11.2018