Ichnogenus: Diplichnites Dawson, 1873

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Stratigraphic Occurrences

Geographic Occurrences

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Sequences (Formations)

  • C5 Sequence (Waynesville: Liberty)
  • C4 Sequence (Sunset: Oregonia)
  • C3 Sequence (Corryville)
  • C2 Sequence (Miamitown: Fairview)
  • C1 Sequence (Clay’s Ferry: Kope)

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Identification in Hand Sample

  • General morphology: Simple, closely spaced parallel tracks
  • Branching: None
  • Surface ornamentation: None
  • Fill: None
  • Lining: None
  • Spreiten: None

Paleoenvironmental Parameters

  • Substrate: Marine softground to soil
  • Oxygen content: Low-high
  • Nutrient content: Low-high
  • Energy: Low-moderate


  • Behavior: Locomotion
  • Tracemaker: Marine: trilobite, arthropod; Continental: millipede, centipede

Potential Environments

  • Marine (shallow to deep)
  • Continental (alluvial, lacustrine, eolian)

Diplichnites from the Kope Formation of Foster, Kentucky (left, OUIP 137; right, OUIP 95)

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Hasiotis (KU, 2013):

  • Description: Simple track consisting of a series of closely spaced pairs of individual parallel series of fine ridges or tracks. Tracks are blunt to elongate, closely and regularly spaced and normal to oblique to trace axis.
  • Intepretation: Locomotion; marine (shallow to deep) to continental including alluvial, lacustrine, and eolian; Trilobites and arthropods. In continental environments, arthropods, centipedes and millipedes.

Fossils of Ohio (1996):

  • Diplichnites is a trackway, typically 1 to 2 cm, consisting of two parallel series of ridges or grooves that commonly occur in pairs. This trackway is found in Mississippian rock units such as the Bedford Shale. It is also found in the Ordovician rocks of Ohio (see Osgood, 1970, where it is illustrated under the name Petalichnus) . Diplichnitesis the trackway of an arthropod. Most forms are the work of trilobites.

Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, Part W, Miscellanea Supplement 1 (1975):

  • Description: “Morphologically simple track, width about 1 to 2 cm, consisting of 2 parallel series of fine ridges (1-5 mm long), individual ridges elongate obliquely to track axis, sometimes apparently occurring in pairs (illustrating two-clawed limbs of animal producing track), anterior ridge more prominent.” W. Hantzschel 1975
  • Interpretation: Originally interpreted by Dawson as traces of large worms or crustations or imprints of spines of fish; now considered locomotion tracks of trilobites, walking or striding in straightforward movement across the surface of the sediment; Crimes (1970b, p. 57) observed transitional forms between Diplichnites and Cruziana; Osgood (1970, p. 352) is skeptical about the trilobite origin and the marine environment of Dawson’s type specimens of ichnogenus; a comparable track from the Devonian of Antarctica is Beaconichnus gouldi Gevers, 191 (see Gevers et al., 1971, p. 86, 93)

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