Phylum: Echinodermata
Class: Rhombifera
Order: Dichoporita Jaekel, 1899
Cincinnatian Families: Callocystitidae

Geologic Range
Lower Ordovician- Upper Devonian

Common Paleoecology
Dichoporita is an extinct order of stationary intermediate-level epifaunal suspension feeders

Characteristics of the Order

  • Thecal-pores are in pairs
  • Pores are situated vertically across suture lines
  • 20-30 plates

Published Descriptions

Lefebvre (2005):

  • Dichoporite rhombiferans include the two superfamilies Glyptocystitida and Hemicosmitida [Kesling, 1967; Paul, 1972a]. Dichoporites are characterized by a theca with endothecal pore-structures, and consisting of a reduced number of plates (usually 20-30), organized into three (hemicosmitids) or five rows (glyptocystitids). Their stem is well-differentiated, with a flexible proximal portion, and a more rigid, holomeric, distal region.
  • Diploporita are blastozoan echinoderms characterized by exothecal pore-structures corresponding to diplopores (paired pores opening in a shallow depression) [Kesling, 1967; Paul, 1972a; Bockelie, 1984]. Diplopores are usually extensive and occur on most or all thecal plates. Most diploporites are characterized by a relatively globular theca, consisting of numerous (several tens to hundreds), unorganized, polygonal plates. A stem is sometimes present (e.g. Destombesia, Eumorphocystis), but it is absent in most forms [Kesling, 1967; Paul, 1972a; Bockelie, 1984; Chauvel, 1969]. Diploporites are usually subdivided into the four superfamilies Aristocystitida, Asteroblastida, Protocrinitida, and Sphaeronitida [Bockelie, 1984; Paul, 1984].

Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, Part T, Vol. 2(1) (1978):

  • Rhombifera with endothecal pore structures composed of dichopores and only developed across certain plate sutures; theca comprising a small number of plates arranged in 3 to 5 circlets; well-developed stem throughout life.

Schuchert (1904):

  • Dichoporita are Cystoidea whose thecal-pores are in pairs, each pair divided between two plates, situated vertically across the suture lines, slit or tubular-form, arranged parallel and combined into pore-rhombs, their ambulacral radial-grooves in special skeletal elements supported by the theca.