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Vol. 55 (2019)

Conopsoides Hitchcock 1858: an ichnological chimera of Acanthichnus and Bifurculapes

June 10, 2019
December 8, 2019


The ichnogenus Conopsoides, established in the Nineteenth Century, was differentiated from other ichnogenera by the presence of mounds of sediment associated with the tracks, but this characteristic is now considered an invalid ichnotaxobase by some invertebrate ichnologists. Consequently, Conopsoides has been compared to other ichnogenera in the Hitchcock collection in order to determine if other characteristics could be used to differentiate it. As a result, the morphologies exhibited by Conopsoides are seen in two other ichnogenera, Acanthichnus and Bifurculapes. Specifically, the morphologies seen in the type species, Conopsoides larvalis, are observed in Acanthichnus cursorius and Acanthichnus saltatorius, and therefore different specimens of Conopsoides larvalis are considered to belong to these two ichnospecies. Similarly, the morphology observed in Conopsoides curtus is observed in Bifurculapes laqueatus, so the former ichnospecies is considered a junior subjective synonym of the latter.