Ichnogenus: Catellocaula Palmer & Wilson, 1988

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    Stratigraphic Occurrences

    Geographic Occurrences

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    Sequences (Formations)

    • C1 Sequence (Kope)

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    Identification in Hand Sample

    • General morphology: Shallow pseudoboring, round or star-shaped
    • Branching: No
    • Surface ornamentation: No
    • Fill: None; some may have matrix infilled borings
    • Lining: None
    • Spreiten: None
    • Lining: None

    Paleoenvironmental Parameters

    • Substrate: Hardground
    • Oxygen content: Low
    • Nutrient content: Low
    • Energy: Low


    • Behavior: parasitic dwelling structure
    • Tracemaker: hydroid or colonial ascidiacian tunicate

    Potential Environments

    • Fully marine
    • Tropical-style carbonates

    Catellocaula from the Kope Formation of Brooksville, Ohio (left; OUIP 245); Carrollton, Kentucky (center; OUIP 202), and Corinth, Kentucky (right; OUIP 230)

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    Holland (UGA Strat Lab, 2013):

    • Bioimmuration Structure; species: star and H-shaped bioimmuration structure in bryozoans, often in chains

    Meyer & Davis (2009):

    • After settlement by a larva of the endosymbiont onto the living colony, bryozoan zooecia grew around the organism in conformation to its shape, resulting in distinctive pits arranged in rows, names Catellocaula vallata by Palmer and Wilson (1988). Unlike borings, the margin of these pits is lined by zooecial walls. The morphology of the pits and their arrangement in rows suggests a colonial, stoloniferous organism, most likely a tunicate. Tapanila (2005) has proposed that a new behavioral category, Impedichnia, be used for such cavities that locally inhibit the normal skeletal growth of the host. Catellocaula vallata represents one of the oldest known examples of this endosymbiotic behavior.

    Palmer & Wilson (1988):

    • Bioclaustration structure in bryozoans, consisting of a group of pits sunk into the surface of the zoarium. Pits c. 2 mm diameter, up to c. 2 mm deep; in plan view pit mouth subcircular to oval with slightly to strongly fluted edges; pit walls may extend up above bryozoan surface to form low thickened rim around pit mouth. Mature specimens consist of arrays of up to thirty or more such pits; in centre of array, pits spaced evenly, c. 2-3 mm apart; towards periphery, pits lie equispaced along straight or gently curving lines, each often terminating in a groove, c. 2 mm wide, several millimeters long; groove shallows distally so that outer end merges imperceptibly with surface of surrounding zoarium. Floors of adjacent pits along line joined by tunnels, c. 2 mm wide, 0.5 mm high. Lines increase in number of bifurcation.

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