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Acanthaster planci, étoiles mangeuses de corail.jpeg
Acanthaster planci
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Echinodermata
Class: Asteroidea
Order: Valvatida
Family: Acanthasteridae
Genus: Acanthaster
Gervais, 1841[1]
2, See text.
  • Echinaster Gray, 1840
  • Echinities Müller & Troschel, 1844

Acanthaster is a small genus of large and venomous starfish placed in its own family, Acanthasteridae. Its members are known as crown-of-thorns starfish.


These species are listed in the World Register of Marine Species:[1]

Some sources add Acanthaster ellisi, (Gray, 1840) but it is now considered as a subspecies of A. planci in the eastern Pacific.

Recent molecular work has suggested that Acanthaster planci is a species complex of up to 4 different species that have yet to be separately described (Vogler et. al., 2008).


  1. ^ a b c Mah, C. (2012). Acanthaster Gervais, 1841. In: Mah, C.L. (2012). World Asteroidea database. Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at on 2012-03-23
  2. ^ JS Lucas, « Hybrid crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci X A. brevispinus) reared to maturity in the laboratory », Nature, vol. 263, 1976, p. 409-412 & cover.