Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Subclass: Tabulata
Order: Heliolitida
Family: Coccoserididae
Genus: Protarea Milne-Edwards & Haime, 1851
Cincinnatian Species: Protarea richmondensis

Taxonomic Details

Alternate Spelling: Protaraea

Geologic Range
Middle Ordovician – Late Ordovician

Common Paleoecology
Protarea is an extinct genus of stationary epifaunal suspension feeders which have been interpreted to have hosted symbiotic algae in their tissues

Identification in Hand Sample:

  • Form as thin films or sheets, always encrusting another species of marine animal
  • Corallites (skeletons of single coral polyp) are closely spaced and polygonal with shallow calices.
  • Coenenchyme narrow to absent
  • Number of septa is usually 12

Geographic Occurrences


Published Description

Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, Part F, 2 of 2 (1981):

  • Corallum of thin sheets, commonly encrusting; corallites close, coenenchyme narrow to absent, when present of closely contiguous thick trabeculae perpendicular to surface; septa 12, of contiguous trabeculae directed steeply upward and filling the lumen; tabulae absent.

McFarlan (1931):

  • Thin incrusting coralla. Corallites polygonal with shallow calices. Septa 12.

P. richmondensis