Phylum: Bryozoa
Class: Stenolaemata
Order: Trepostomatida
Family: Monticuliporidae
Genera: Monticulipora d’Orbigny, 1850
Cincinnatian Species: Monticulipora mammulata, Monticulipora molesta

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Type species: Monticulipora mammullata (d’Orbigny, 1850)

Species in Cincinnatian of Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky (

  • Monticulipora mammullata (d’Orbigny, 1850)
  • Monticulipora cincinnatiensis (James, 1875)
  • Monticulipora cleavelandi (James, 1875)
  • Monticulipora epidermata (Ulrich and Bassler, 1904 )
  • Monticulipora laevis (Ulrich, 1882)
  • Monticulipora molesta (Nicholson, 1881)
  • Monticulipora multipora (Dyer, 1925)
  • Monticulipora parasitica (Ulrich, 1882)

Note: Most common species in the Cincinnatian include M. mammulata and M. molesta

Taxonomic History (Nickles & Bassler, 1900)

  • 1850 Monticulipora D’Orbigny, Prodr. de Pal., I, p. 25.
  • 1860 Monticulipora Milne-Edwards, Hist. Nat. des Corall, III, p. 272.
  • 1860 Monticulipora Eichwald, Lethaea Rossica, I, p. 492.
  • 1872 Monticulipora De Koninck, Nouv. Rech. Anim. Foss. Terr. Carb. Belgique, p. 141.
  • 1879 Monticulipora Nicholson, Paleozoic Tabulate Corals, p. 269.
  • 1881 Monticulipora Nicholson, Genus Monticulipora, p. 99.
  • 1882 Monticulipora Ulrich, Jour. Cincinnati Soc. Nat. Hist., V, pp. 153, 232.
  • 1883 Monticulipora Foord, Contr. Micro-Pal. Cambro-Sil., p. 7.
  • 1886 Monticulipora Waagen and Wentzel, Pal. Indica, Ser. XIII, p. 874.
  • 1888 Monticulipora James and James, Jour. Cincinnati Soc. Nat. Hist., X, p. 158.
  • 1889 Monticulipora Miller, North American Geol. Pal., p. 197.
  • 1890 Monticulipora Ulrich, Geol. Sur. Illinois, VIII, pp. 370, 407.
  • 1893 Monticulipora Ulrich, Geol. Minnesota, III, p. 217.
  • 1893 Monticulipora J.F. James, Jour. Cincinnati Soc. Nat. Hist., XV, p. 155.
  • 1896 Monticulipora Zittel’s Textb. Pal. (Engl. ed.), p. 103.
  • 1896 Monticulipora Ulrich, Zittel’s Textb. Pal. (Engl. ed.), p. 272.
  • 1897 Monticulipora Simpson, Fourteenth Ann. Rep. State Geologist New York for the year 1894, p. 577.
  • 1881 Peronopora (in part) Nicholson, Genus Monticulipora, p. 215.

Observation: By most writers the genus Monticulipora has been given a very wide acceptation. We have employed the term in its restricted sense as defined by Mr. Ulrich in his latest works, but most of the above citations refer to Monticulipora in a much wider sense.
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Stratigraphic Occurrences


Geologic Range
Ordovician – Devonian

Geographic Occurrences

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Sequences (Formations)

  • C5 Sequence (Saluda, Lower Whitewater, Liberty)
  • C3 Sequence (Corryville)
  • C2 Sequence (Bellevue, Fairview: Fairmount)

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Identification in Hand Sample:

  • Zoarium Morphology: Massive, hemi-spherical, lobate, or lamellate; can be encrusting or erect
  • Zoecia: Prismatic/polygonal, thin-walled; acanthopores small (but usually numerous); granulose wall structure
  • Mesozooids: Few or wanting
  • Monticules: Usually present; conical to elongate
  • Maculae: Typically with clusters of mesozooids

Species Differentiation

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Holland (UGA Strat Lab, 2013):

  • Monticulipora can have a wide range of colony morphologies, including encrusting, hemispherical, massive, frondose, and ramose. Monticules are typically present and are conical to elongated, and they typically have clusters of styles and mesozooids. Zooecia contain both diaphragms and cystiphragms. Cystiphragms are typically radially arranged around monticules, on the sides of zooecia closest to monticules, rather than on the far side of the monticule as in Prasopora (this is most easily seen in tangential section). Styles are generally short and limited to thick-walled regions, but may be rare or absent in some species. Mesozooids may be common to absent.

McFarlan (1931):

  • …characteristic are the granulose wall structure and the small, usually numerous acanthopores, which lack the central lumen and concentric structure.

Bassler (1911):

  • Originally this genus was the resting place for a most heterogeneous lot of species, but to-day, through the work of Ulrich, its definite characters, so clearly shown in thin sections, have been so well indicated that there is no longer any excuse for erroneous generic identification. The generic characters are, first, the occurrence of cystiphragms in the zooecial tubes, both in the axial and peripheral regions, and, second, the peculiarly granulose wall structure pertaining to both zooecia and mesopores. This combination of characters has been found in species ranging through all the various forms of growth save the bifoliate. The mesopores also, when present, are variable in number. The acanthopores are usually small and numerous, but differ in their microscopic features from those of all the other families of the Trepostomata. The structure of the acanthopores in Monticulipora is much like that of the granulose walls, but the distinct central perforation and concentric rings of tissue seen in so many forms are wanting entirely.
  • Genotype.—Monticulipora mammulata D’Orbigny. Upper Ordovician (Maysville) of the Ohio Basin.

Nickles & Bassler (1900):

  • Monticulipora D’Orbigny: Zoarium massy, lobate, or lamellate, incrusting or free; monticules usually present; zooecia prismatic, usually thin-walled, with cystiphragms both in mature and immature regions; apertures polygonal; mesopores few or wanting; acanthopores small, generally numerous.

Foord (1883):

  • External Characters: Zoarium massive, lobate, laminar, incrusting, and sometimes irregularly frondescent. Surface sometimes smooth, usually tuberculated. Monticules closely approximated, usually conical, often elongated or compressed. Cells small, their diameter varying in different species from 1/80 to 1/139 of an inch, polygonal, and with thin walls; generally groups of cells slightly larger than the average are distributed at regular intervals among those of the ordinary size. Not infrequently a few smaller (younger?) cells occupy the summits of the monticules, and they may occasionally be detected between the cells occupying the hollow interspaces.
  • Internal Characters: Tubes in the “immature” zones, with very thin walls, and crossed by straight or oblique diaphragms; and often there are large cystoid diaphragms present. In the mature zones the walls become very slightly thickened, and small spiniform tubuli can usually be detected; while numerous cystoid diaphragms are always developed in the greater number of the tubes. Immediately above the point of gemmation, the young tube is crossed by numerous straight diaphragms giving it the appearance of an interstitial tube. Subsequently the diaphragms become less crowded, and the young tube assumes the characters of an ordinary cell. The process of gemmation seems to have taken place more especially at certain levels, since tangential sections taken at different heights may show in one comparatively numerous small tubes, intercalated among the ordinary cells, while another may show but few or none of them.

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M. mammulata

M. molesta