Temporal range: Upper Carboniferous
Figure by Edward Drinker Cope of the carapace and part of the abdomen of M. ordinatus from its 1886 description
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Order: โ€ Eurypterida
Superfamily: โ€ Mycteropoidea
Family: โ€ Mycteroptidae
Genus: โ€ Mycterops
Cope, 1886
Type species
โ€ Mycterops ordinatus
Cope, 1886
  • โ€ ?M. blairi Waterston, 1968
  • โ€ M. matthieui Pruvost, 1924
  • โ€ M. ordinatus Cope, 1886
  • โ€ ?M. whitei Schram, 1984
  • Glaucodes Pruvost, 1923

Mycterops is a genus of prehistoric eurypterid of the family Mycteroptidae. Mycterops lived during the Carboniferous period in Europe and North America.


Mycteroptids were medium-sized to fairly large. Their outer surface had numerous scales and reticulate ornamentation. Their first and possibly second tergites (dorsal surfaces of the abdominal sections) were strongly developed. Their legs resembled those of Stylonurus. The prosoma (head) was subtrapezoid, with small compound eyes.[1]


The three genera included in the Mycteroptidae, Mycterops, Woodwardopterus and Megarachne might represent different ontogenetic stages of each other based on the sizes of the referred specimens and the patterns of mucronation. This would sink the genera Woodwardopterus and Megarachne into Mycterops.[2]

Mycterops whitei is a fragmentary species that might not be referrable to the genus at all if more complete specimens show that it has a caudal postabdomen.[2]


The species currently seen as valid species of the genus are:[3]

  • Mycterops? blairi Waterston, 1968 โ€” Carboniferous, Scotland.
  • Mycterops matthieui Pruvost, 1924 โ€” Carboniferous, Belgium.
  • Mycterops ordinatus Cope, 1886 โ€” Carboniferous, Pennsylvania (United States).
  • Mycterops? whitei Schram, 1984 โ€” Carboniferous, Iowa (United States).

See also


  1. ^ Stรธrmer, L 1955. Merostomata. Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, Part P Arthropoda 2, Chelicerata, P39.
  2. ^ a b James C. Lamsdell, Simon J. Braddy & O. Erik Tetlie (2010). "The systematics and phylogeny of the Stylonurina (Arthropoda: Chelicerata: Eurypterida)". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. 8 (1): 49โ€“61. doi:10.1080/14772011003603564.
  3. ^ Dunlop, J. A., Penney, D. & Jekel, D. 2015. A summary list of fossil spiders and their relatives. In World Spider Catalog. Natural History Museum Bern, online at, version 16.0 (PDF).

Other Languages