A review of the classification of Jurassic aspidoceratid ammonites – the Superfamily Aspidoceratoidea

Horacio Parent, Günter Schweigert, Armin Scherzinger


The aspidoceratid ammonites have been traditionally included in the superfamily Perisphinctoidea. However, the basis of this is unclear for they bear unique combinations of characters unknown in typical perisphinctoids: (1) the distinct laevaptychus, (2) stout shells with high growth rate of the whorl section area, (3) prominent ornamentation with tubercles, spines and strong growth lines running in parallel over strong ribs, (4) lack of constrictions, (5) short to very short bodychamber, and (6) sexual dimorphism characterized by miniaturized microconchs and small-sized macroconchs besides the larger ones, including changes of sex during ontogeny in many cases.
Considering the uniqueness of these characters we propose herein to raise the family Aspidoceratidae to the rank of a superfamily Aspidoceratoidea, ranging from the earliest Late Callovian to the Early Berriasian Jacobi Zone. The new superfamily includes two families, Aspidoceratidae (Aspidoceratinae, Euaspidoceratinae, Epipeltoceratinae and Hybonoticeratinae), and Peltoceratidae (Peltoceratinae and Gregoryceratinae nov. subfam.).
The highly differentiated features of the aspidoceratoids indicate that their life-histories were very different from those of the perisphinctoids; these ammonites show great promise for studies of developmental and evolutionary patterns and processes, and can be used for bio­stratigraphic-chronostratigraphic purposes and interprovincial correlations.


Superfamily Aspidoceratoidea, Aspidoceratidae, Epipeltoceratinae emended, Peltoceratidae, Gregoryceratinae nov. subfam.

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