Abundant new material of articulated asteroids from the Taba Starfish Bed (Lower Cretaceous, Barremian) of the Agadir Basin, western Morocco, allows reappraisal of this important fauna, and the recognition, to date, of five taxa belonging to the Astropectinidae, Odontasteridae, Goniasterididae, Terminasteridae, and Asteriidae. Betelgeusia orientalisBlake and Reboul, 2011 is shown to be a junior synonym of Coulonia platyspinaHess and Blake, 1995, and Dipsacaster africanusBlake and Reboul, 2011 comprises material of C. platyspina and a new odontasterid, here described as Odontaster tabaensis n. sp. Alkaidia megaungula n. sp. is described and its ontogeny and affinities discussed. From this, it is concluded that the Terminasteridae, revised to include the genera Terminaster and Alkaidia, is sister taxon to the extant family Zoroasteridae, and both are placed in the suborder Zorocallina of the Forcipulatida. The Taba fauna is a representative of a distinctive Lower Cretaceous asteroid assemblage that existed in northern Tethys from the Barremian to the Cenomanian and is also well known from the Albian and lower Cenomanian of Texas.
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Vol. 94 • No. 5