Paleozoic Gastropod, Rostroconch and "Monoplacophoran" (Tergomyan and Helcionelloid) Database
Data Archive 6

This is a Paleobiology Database Data Archive compiled by Peter Wagner and that includes classification and alpha taxonomy of Paleozoic mollusc groups including gastropods, rostroconchs, tergomyans and helcionelloids. The database currently includes information for most Cambrian - Mississippian species, with data including unpublished opinions of Wagner.

Scientific goals

The synonymies have been used to correct the faunal data, which form the basis for part of a comparative study of the effects of taxonomic standardization on sampling standardized analyses (Wagner et al. in review). These data also have been used to test general ideas about "wastebasket" taxa (Plotnick and Wagner 2006).


The basic higher taxonomic classification for gastropods from the Treatise (Knight et al. 1960) are included, with numerous revisions including those of Wagner (1999a, Wagner 1999b). Decisions attributed to Wagner (2006) reflect this database and the decisions of Peter Wagner based on continued phylogenetic studies that extend to early Carboniferous gastropods (including bellerophonts; see also Wagner 2001).

Alpha taxonomy for Pennsylvannian gastropods largely reflects Yochelson & Sounder's (1967) generic assignments plus subsequent revisions. The basic higher taxonomic classification of rostroconchs for rostroconchs comes largely from Pojeta and Runnegar (1976), with numerous emendations from subsequent publications. Opinions attributed to Wagner (2006) reflect phylogenetic studies begun with Wagner (1997).

The basic higher taxonomy for Cambrian molluscs largely reflects Runnegar & Jell (1976) and Peel (1991) plus subsequent revisions especially by Parched (e.g., 2002) at the species & genus level. Opinions attributed to Wagner (2006) reflect outgroup analyses as well as preliminary phylogenetic studies for Cambrian molluscs.

Funding for Wagner's research comes from NSF Research Grants EAR-9903238 and EAR-0207874.

  • J. B. Knight, L. R. Cox, R. L. Batten, and E. L. Yochelson. 1960. Systematic descriptions. Pp. 169 - 324 in R. C. Moore, ed. Treatise on invertebrate paleontology. Part I. Mollusca 1. University of Kansas Press, Lawrence, Kansas.
  • P. Y. Parkhaev. 2002. Phylogenesis and the systematics of the Cambrian univalved mollusks. Paleontological Journal 35:27 - 39.
  • J. S. Peel. 1991. The Classes Tergomya and Helcionelloida, and early molluscan evolution. Grønlands Geologiske Undersøgelse Bulletin 161:11 - 6
  • R. E. Plotnick and P. J. Wagner. 2006. Round up the usual suspects: common genera in the fossil record and the nature of wastebasket taxa. Paleobiology 32:126 - 146.
  • J. Pojeta, Jr., and B. Runnegar. 1976. The paleontology of rostroconch mollusks and the early history of the phylum Mollusca. United States Geological Survey Professional Paper 968:1 - 88.
  • B. Runnegar and P. A. Jell. 1976. Australian Middle Cambrian molluscs and their bearing on early molluscan evolution. Alcheringa 1:109 - 138.
  • P. J. Wagner. 1997. Patterns of morphologic diversification among the Rostroconchia. Paleobiology 23:115 - 150.
  • --------. 1999a. Phylogenetics of Ordovician - Silurian Lophospiridae (Gastropoda: Murchisoniina): the importance of stratigraphic data. American Malacological Bulletin 15:1 - 31.
  • --------. 1999b. Phylogenetics of the earliest anisostrophically coiled gastropods. Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology 88:1 - 132.
  • --------. 2001. Gastropod phylogenetics: progress, problems and implications. Journal of Paleontology 75:1128 - 1140.
  • E. L. Yochelson and B. W. Saunders. 1967. A bibliographic index of North American Late Paleozoic Hyolitha, Amphineura, Scaphopoda, and Gastropoda. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 1210:1 - 271.
Contact information

Peter J. Wagner
Department of Paleobiology
Smithsonian Institution
P.O. Box 37012
Washington, DC 20013-7012
ph: 202-633-1345

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