Constellaria

Classification
Phylum: Bryozoa
Class: Stenolaemata
Order: Cystoporata
Genus: Constellaria Dana, 1846
Cincinnatian Species: Constellaria emaciata, Constellaria fischeri, Constellaria florida, Constellaria polystomella, Constellaria teres

Taxonomic Details

Type Species: Constellaria constellata (Dana, 1849)
Synonym: Stellipora Hall, 1847
History: (Nickles & Bassler, 1900)

  • 1846 Constellaria Dana, Zoophyta, p. 537.
  • 1875 Constellaria Nicholson, Pal. Ohio, II, p. 214.
  • 1879 Constellaria Nicholson, Pal. Tab. Corals, p. 292.
  • 1881 Constellaria Nicholson, Genus Monticulipora, p. 97.
  • 1882 Constellaria Ulrich, Jour. Cincinnati Soc. Nat. Hist., V, p. 156.
  • 1883 Constellaria Ulrich, Jour. Cincinnati Soc. Nat. Hist., VI, p. 265.
  • 1888 Constellaria James and James, Jour. Cincinnati Soc. Nat. Hist., XI, p. 29.
  • 1890 Constellaria Ulrich, Geol. Surv. Illinois, VIII, pp. 374, 423.
  • 1893 Constellaria Ulrich, Geol. Minnesota, III, p. 311.
  • 1896 Constellaria Ulrich, Zittel’s Textb. Pal. (Engl. ed.), p. 276.
  • 1896 Constellaria J.F. James, Jour. Cincinnati Soc. Nat. Hist., XVIII, p. 117.
  • 1860 Stellipora Milne-Edwards, Hist. Nat. des Corall., III, p. 281.
  • 1877 Stellipora (in part) Dybowski, Die Chaeteiden d. Ostbalt. Silur-Form., p. 42.

Species found in Cincinnatian, USA

Geologic Range
Middle Ordovician (Chazyan) – Late Ordovician (Richmondian)

Stratigraphic Occurrences

Constellariastrat

Geographic Occurrences

Stratigraphic Description

Sequences (Formations)

  • C6 Sequence (Elkhorn)
  • C5 Sequence (Waynesville, Whitewater, Liberty)
  • C2 Sequence (Fairmount)
  • C1 Sequence (Fulton, McMicken)

Identification:
Constellaria

  • Zoarium Morphology: Erect, flattened branches or fronds (frondose)
  • Zooecia: Polygonal
  • Mesozooids: More numerous in maculae
  • Monticules: Surface with depressed stellate (star-shaped) maculae
  • Spaces between rays elevated and occupied by rows of close apertures

Diagnosis: Star-shaped maculae/monticules

Published Description

Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, G, Bryozoa (1983):

  • Zoarium encrusting, ramose, or frondose. Monticules stellate to subcircular; primary plus secondary rays of zooecia flush or elevated; monticular center and interrays of vesicles depressed, flush, or elevated. Autozooecia larger, with irregular polygonal cross-section in endozone, smaller, with sub-circular cross-section in exozone; generally isolated by vesicles in intermonticular areas; lunarium lacking but some autozooecia with thicker proximal wall. Walls indistinctly and transversely laminated; diaphragms from few to many, straight to curved. Vesicles box-like and superimposed (resembling mesozooecia) to irregular blisters; poorly laminated, containing pustules; vesicle rods thickened in zones. Midray partitions of hyaline calcite; acanthostyles in vesicle and autozooecial walls.

Bassler (1911):

  • The generic characters of this group of Bryozoa have been worked out and described by Ulrich in his various memoirs. The genus is one of the most easily recognized of Ordovician and early Silurian types, mainly on account of the very characteristic star-shaped maculae. This, although the most obvious feature, is no more important than the erect ramose or frondescent growth and the minute structure of the walls. Nickles and Bassler have briefly defined the genus as follows:
    • “Zoarium growing into erect, flattened branches or fronds from a basal expansion which is attached to foreign bodies; surface with depressed stellate maculae, the spaces between the rays elevated and occupied by two or three short rows or clusters of closely approximated apertures; mesopores aggregated into maculae, internally with gradually crowding diaphragms.”
  • Genotype.—Ceriopora constellata (Van Cleve) Dana. Upper Ordovician of the Ohio Valley.

Nickles & Bassler (1900):

  • Constellaria Dana: Zoarium growing into erect, flattened branches or fronds from a basal expansion which is attached to foreign bodies; surface with depressed stellate maculae, the spaces between the rays elevated and occupied by two or three short rows or clusters of closely approximated apertures; mesopores aggregated into maculae, internally with gradually crowding diaphragms.

Species Differentiation

Constellaria species

C. emaciata


C. fischeri


C. florida


C. polystomella


C. teres