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Schmidt, 1870

Definition: Growth forms are either encrusting to massive, or they may be more specialised with a spherical body and long inhalant and exhalant tubes at opposite ends, the latter with a stellate, spicular, funnel-shaped end. Megascleres are long-shafted triaenes (with shaft directed inwards and clads on surface) and huge oxea megascleres; euaster and microrhabd microscleres, without sterrasters or amphiasters.

Remarks: Fifteen valid genera are recognised in this family. Species live in intertidal habitats to depths of at least 2460 m (Hartman, 1982).

Genera represented in the area:
Ancorina Schmidt, 1862 (type species A. cerebrum Schmidt, 1862) (syn. Stellettinopsis Carter, 1879; Algol Sollas, 1888; Thalassomora Lendenfeld, 1888; Sanidastrella Topsent, 1892): surface sanidasters/microrhabds; euasters in the interior.

Stelletta Schmidt, 1862(type species S. grubii Schmidt, 1862) (syn. Myriastra Sollas, 1886; Pilochrota Sollas, 1886; Anthastra Sollas, 1886): 1-3 categories of euasters (oxyasters, pycnasters, chiasters).

Stryphnus Sollas, 1886 (type species S. niger Sollas, 1886): euasters and amphiasters.

Source: Uriz, 2002

Species included:
Ancorina cerebrum
Ancorina radix
Stelletta dorsigera
Stelletta grubii
Stelletta hispida
Stelletta lactea
Stelletta normani
Stelletta simplicissima
Stryphnus fortis
Stryphnus ponderosus

Species not treated here:
Penares helleri (Schmidt, 1862), Straits of Gibraltar, deep water
Stelletta pachastrelloides Carter (1876), deep water
Stelletta rhaphidiophora Hentschel (1929), Iceland, deep water
Stelletta tuberosa Topsent (1904), North Atlantic
Stryphnus mucronatus (Schmidt, 1868), Mediterranean

Family Ancorinidae