Catalogue of the type specimens of sea stars (Asteroidea, Echinodermata) from research collections of the Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences

Latest version published by Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg on Jul 1, 2024 Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg

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The Catalogue includes the images of dorsal and ventral views of the sea stars composed of views of type specimens; views of deposit units (jars and boxes); label and collection data; maps showing type localities for primary and secondary types of 82 species and subspecies of the starfish of the class Asteroidea De Blainville, 1830 [5, 7].

The collection of the Echinoderm Department of the Laboratory of Marine investigations totals more than 24000 units of storage and is divided into systematic and non-identified. The systematic part of the collection is stored in taxonomic order (according to family, genus and species), while non-identified part — according to expeditions.

Feodor Fyodorovich Brandt (Johann Friedrich von Brandt) (1802–1879) — the founder and first director of the Zoological museum has processed materials on sea stars collected by K.H. Mertens, during expedition on the vessel Senyavin (Kamchatka — 1827) and A.F. Middendorff, during Sea of Okhotsk expedition 1844 year [3, 4].

Several specimens of starfish where obtained from 1860 up to 1894. The main collection of sea stars originates from the materials of the famous first Russian research vessel «Andrey Pervozvannyi» (1899) [11, 12]. Since that time many regions of the World Ocean were sampled and lot of materials were collected by Zoological Institute researchers.

The collection of starfish (both the collection of types with systematic and unidentified parts) is presented by 438 species and subspecies, basically from the cold and temperate waters of the World Ocean. The systematic collection totals 7731 lots, and non-identified — more than 700.

The digitized collection of types now comprises of 84 deposit units containing 104 typical specimens, mainly holotypes and paratypes and also several syntypes, which were collected throughout the World Ocean. These specimens belong to 82 species and subspecies of sea stars. The lots or deposit units are represented by jars with wet specimens and boxes with dry ones.

The collection continues to grow due to materials of Russian and foreign expeditions, mainly in the Arctic Ocean and Far East Russian seas.

Maintenance of the general collection and identification of the material have been performed by the laboratory assistants and researchers A.M. Djakonov [5], Z.I. Baranova [1, 2], E.N. Gruzov [6], Z.V. Kuntsevich, A.V. Smirnov [8–10].

Digitizing of research collections of the Zoological Institute was performed within the framework of RFBR №15-29-02457 (competition of oriented basic research on important interdisciplinary themes 2015) «The collections of the Zoological Institute as an important tool and information basis of fundamental biological research» (project leader Dr. N.B. Ananjeva). Photo images were gained with camera Nikon D80 and scanners Epson Perfection V500 Photo and Epson Perfection V700 Photo. Special thanks are due to T.N. Konina for her assistance in imaging of views of the starfish.

Data Records

The data in this checklist resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 81 records.

1 extension data tables also exist. An extension record supplies extra information about a core record. The number of records in each extension data table is illustrated below.

Taxon (core)

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.


The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.

How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Smirnov I, Khalikov R (2024). Catalogue of the type specimens of sea stars (Asteroidea, Echinodermata) from research collections of the Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences. Version 1.20. Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg. Checklist dataset.


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY 4.0) License.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: 31f8727c-debb-4c38-bb89-0eb2594537a9.  Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by Society for the Management of Electronic Biodiversity Data.


Checklist; Inventorythematic; Specimen; Occurrence; Checklist


Igor Smirnov
  • Originator
  • Point Of Contact
Senior Researcher, Echinoderms Department of Marine Research Laboratory
Zoological Institute RAS
Universitetskaya emb., 1
199034 Saint Petersburg
+7 (812) 328-13-11
Roman Khalikov
  • Metadata Provider
  • Originator
Head, IT Department
Zoological Institute RAS
Universitetskaya emb., 1
199034 Saint Petersburg
+7 (812) 328-06-11

Geographic Coverage

Sampling was carried out all over the World Ocean.

Bounding Coordinates South West [-90, -180], North East [90, 180]

Taxonomic Coverage

Sea stars (Asteroidea, Echinodermata) collection identified to species and subspecies.

Class Asteroidea (sea stars)

Temporal Coverage

Start Date / End Date 1827-05-01 / 1949-10-06

Sampling Methods

Sampling was carried out using different collecting gears mainly trawls and grabs of various constructions.

Study Extent Sampling of starfish was carried out throughout the World Ocean, Northern Hemisphere mainly Arctic and Far East seas during the period from 1827 up to 1949.

Method step description:

  1. Collected materials on sea stars (mainly wet (alcohol) and occasionally dry) were identified to species and subspecies level and deposited in the collections of the Zoological Institute RAS.

Collection Data

Collection Name Sea stars (Asteroidea) collection of the Laboratory of the Marine Research, Zoological Institute RAS
Specimen preservation methods Alcohol,  Dried
Curatorial Units Between 81 and 81 species and subspecies

Bibliographic Citations

  1. Baranova Z. I. 1957. Echinoderms of the Bering Sea // Issledovaniya Dalnevostochnykh Morei SSSR. Issue 4. M., L.: USSR Academy of Sciences Publisher. P. 149–266. [In Russian]
  2. Baranova Z. I. 1962. Echinoderms of the Kuril Islands // Issledovaniya Dalnevostochnykh Morei SSSR. Issue 8. M., L.: USSR Academy of Sciences Publisher. P. 347–363. [In Russian]
  3. Brandt J. F. 1835. Prodromus descriptionis Animalium ab H. Mertensio in orbis terrarum circumnavigatione observatorum, Petropooli. Fasc. I: 203–275.
  4. Brandt J. F. 1851. Brandt J. F. (1851). Bemerkungen uber die Asteriden und Echiniden Ochotskischen, Kamtschatischen und Behringschen Meeres. A. Th. v. Middendorff, Reise in den aussersten Norden and Osten Sibiriens, etc.,. vol. 2, pt. 1; Echinodermen, Ddr. F. Brandt und E. Grube pp. 27–34.
  5. Djakonov A. M. 1950. Sea stars of the seas of the USSR. Keys to the Fauna of USSR 34: 204 pp, fig 1–212. [In Russian]
  6. Gruzov E. N. 1964. Novaja glubokovodnaja morskaja zvezda Astrocles djakonovi sp. n. (Brisingidae) iz Ohotskogo morja. Zoologicheskii zhurnal. T. 43, vyp. 9. S. 1394–1396. [In Russian]
  7. Mah C., Hansson H. 2009. Asteroidea. Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species.
  8. Smirnov A. V. 1982. Species Pteraster obscurus (Perrier, 1891) and P. octaster Verrill, 1909 (Asteroidea: Pterasteridae) // Issledovaniya Fauny Morei. Vol. 8(16). Korotkevitch V. S. (Ed.). Marine invertebrates of coastal biocenoses of the Arctic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. L.: Zoological Institute Academy of Sciences of the USSR. P. 102–113 [In Russian]
  9. Smirnov A.V. 2001. Class Asteroidea. Explorations of the fauna of the seas [Issledovaniya fauny morei]. Vol. 51(59). Sirenko B.I. (ed.). List of free-living invertebrates of Eurasian Arctic Seas and adjacent deep waters. P. 123–124.
  10. Smirnov A.V. 2013. Class Asteroidea. Explorations of the fauna of the seas. Vol. 75(83). Sirenko B.I. (Ed.). Check-list of species of free-living invertebrates of the Russian Far Eastern Seas. St. Petersburg: Zoological Institute Russian Academy of Sciences. P. 191–195, 232–234.
  11. Stepanjants S. D., Bjorklund K. R., Chernova N. V., Smirnov I. S., Lajus J. A. Damperen "Andrei Perwoswanniy" et 100 ars jubileum. Arbok for Bergen Museum 1998, Universitet i Bergen, 1999. P. 69–75.
  12. Stepanjants S. D., Chernova N. V., Sirenko B. I., Smirnov I. S., Bjorklund K. R. From N. M. Knipovich — the organizer of the First scientifically-trade expedition on exp./ves. "Andrey Perwoswanniy (Pervozvannyj)" to modern Russian researches of a marine fauna of the Arctic region // The History of the studying and exploration of Arctic region — from the past to the future: the collection of materials of scientific conference with the international participation (12–13 September 2012) / compilers A. V. Gavzov, P. A. Ramensky; North (Arctic) Federal. University in the name of M. V. Lomonosov. Arkhangelsk: PPC SAFU (NAFU), 2012: 151, 152. [In Russian]

Additional Metadata

Alternative Identifiers 31f8727c-debb-4c38-bb89-0eb2594537a9