Help - anyone recognize these fossil names?


Staff member
Moderator (Staff)
Nov 19, 2002
OK, fossil gurus. Nomenclatural challenge!! I have before me a list of nominal species (from the ref below, pp. 396-7) in the (Recent) onychoteuthid genus Onychoteuthis, some of which seem to be fossils. I will be forever indebted to anyone who can help me shed some light on the current systematic status of any of these taxa. The author (d'Orbigny) seems to think that many of them are synonyms of something he calls Acanthoteuthis prisca? Is that currently a valid name?

O. angusta (Münster, 1830)
O. cochlearis (Münster, 1837)
O. ferussaci (Münster, 1837)
O. lata (Münster, 1837)
O. prisca (Münster, 1837)
O. sagittata (Münster, 1837)
O. speciosa (Münster, 1837)
O. subovata (Münster, 1837)
O. tricarinata (Münster, 1837)

Does anyone know anything about Münster? Is he really likely to have given the same species 8 different names in the same publication? I know fossils are fragmentary and tricky, but...

Thanks in advance for any assistance. :notworth:

d'Orbigny, A. 1834-1847. Mollusques. Voyage dans l'Amerique Meridionale, 5(3):1-758, Atlas of 85 plates. [See Sherborn and Griffin (1934) for dates of publication]
Tintenfisch said:
Is he really likely to have given the same species 8 different names in the same publication? I know fossils are fragmentary and tricky, but...

The following from my site.

Because of the variable morphology in some populations all specimens are a seperate species, or all are one specie with variable morphology. Mathews (1929) described (a) 32 species of Anasibirites, 5 species of Gurlyeites, 9 of Hemiprionites "Goniodiscus" and 1 of Kashmirites, and (b) 4 species of Wasatchites, 3 of Kashmirites and 1 of Keyserlingites, from Cephalopod Gulch near Salt Lake City, Utah. Later workers placed them (a) in synonomy with Anasibirites kingianus (Waagen) and (b) in Wasatchites.

And I have a wee small hunch Anasibirites and Wasatchites may just be a dimorphic pair.

Whole lotta lumpin and splittin goin on :wink2:

d'Orbigny did alot of work back in the 1800's so his work has probably been updated. Not sure (cant read German) but the species prisca may now be assigned to Plesioteuthis.

this should help
As far as I understand it Acanthoteuthis was a Jurassic coleoid, and a member of the Belemnotheutina. These were, and I quote:

"The Belemnotheutina is a monophyletic group of mostly late Jurassic belemnites that possess largely plesiomorphic characters of ten subequal arms with hooks, a simple, conical, rostrum, a narrow breviconic phragmocone and a spatulate pro-ostracum."

You may like to have a look at this article, though it's pay for access and I'm not sure how much use it might be:

As Kevin has pointed out, I'm certain that prisca has been assigned to Plesioteuthis.

Trending content

Shop Amazon

Shop Amazon
Shop Amazon; support TONMO!
Shop Amazon
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.