Heliaster solaris Clark, 1920:183

24-rayed sunstar



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Asterias multiradiata Gray, 1840 (junior homonym)


Conservation Status

Last record 1983.

This species has not been seen since an El Niño hit the Galapagos Islands in 1983. However, it is possibly synonymous with another species in the Heliaster species complex which inhabits the east Pacific (Christopher Mah, pers. comm.).



Galápagos Islands, Ecuador


Biology & Ecology




Three specimens are in the US National Museum:

USNM 38860 (2 individuals, sexes unspecified)
USNM 38867 (1 individual, sex unspecified)

For full details regarding the collection of these specimens, see: https://collections.mnh.si.edu/search/iz/?qn=Heliaster+solaris


Two specimens are in the Marine Invertebrate Collection at Charles Darwin Research Station:

MCCDRS 89242 (adult, sex unspecified)
MCCDRS 89243 (adult, sex unspecified)

For full details regarding the collection of these specimens see: https://www.darwinfoundation.org/datazone/collections/eng/furtherinfo/1/89242/ and https://www.darwinfoundation.org/datazone/collections/eng/furtherinfo/1/89243/ respectively.






Original scientific description:

Clark, Austin Hobart. (1920). A New Name for Heliaster multiradiatus (Gray). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 1920: 183.


Other references:

Conservation Internation. Press release: GALAPAGOS: THE "ROSETTA STONE OF EVOLUTION" FACES DEVASTATION FROM CLIMATE CHANGE AND FISHING (December 4, 2009). (available online: https://www.conservation.org/newsroom/pressreleases/Pages/galapagos_rosetta_stone.aspx)

Edgar, G. J., Banks, S. A., Brandt, M., Bustamante, R. H., Chiriboga, A., Earle, S. A., Garske, L. E., Glynn, P. W., Grove, J. S., Henderson, S., Hickman, C. P., Miller, K. A., Rivera, F. and Wellington, G. M. (2010). El Niño, grazers and fisheries interact to greatly elevate extinction risk for Galapagos marine species. Global Change Biology 16: 2876–2890.

Jeremy Hance. (December 03, 2009). Extinctions on the rise in the Galapagos: fishing and global warming devastating islands' species. mongabay.com (available online: https://news.mongabay.com/2009/1203-hance_galapagos.html)

Mah, Christopher. (2010). Heliaster solaris A.H. Clark, 1920. In: Mah, C.L. (2010). World Asteroidea database. Accessed through: Mah, C.L. (2010). World Asteroidea database at https://www.marinespecies.org/Asteroidea/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=369070 on 2011-09-12


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