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The echinoderm fauna of southern China has not previously been made the object of special investgation, though there have been scattered papers about the region, or parts of it.
The vast majority of the materials on which the present study has been based is located in the collections made by the Institute of Oceanography, Chinese Academy of China during the past forty years along the whole coast of southern China, including the offshore Xisha (Paracel) Islands in the South China Sea.
Some of the specimens came from shore collecting but most were taken by extensive benthic sampling from the Gulf of Tonkin. The number of species included is 457, of which 4 are new species. nearly all of the species are illustrated.