Encope michelini, copyright Gustav Paulay.

Belongs within: Clypeasteroida.

The Mellitidae are a group of sea biscuits characterised by a series of perforations in the disc, found from the Lower Miocene to the present of tropical and warm temperate regions of the Americas (Durham 1966b).

Characters (from Durham 1966b): Medium-sized to large, flattened; petals well defined, moderately closed, outer member of pore pair greatly elongated; internal supports well developed; posterior interambulacral and paired ambulacral lunules or notches; paired interambulacra not continuous, posterior interambulacrum variable; on oral surface interambulacra widest at ambitus, about as wide as ambulacra; basicoronal plates small; periproct oral, between posterior lunule and peristome; food grooves bifurcating just outside primordial plates.

    |--Leodia Gray 1852 D66b
    |    `--*L. sexiesperforata (Leske 1778) M89 (see below for synonymy)
    |--Mellitella Duncan 1889 D66b
    |    `--*M. stokesii (Agassiz 1841) [=Encope stokesii] M89
    |--Mellita Agassiz 1841 (nom. cons.) M89
    |    |--*M. quinquiesperforata (Leske 1778) M89 (see below for synonymy)
    |    |--M. caroliniana M89
    |    |--M. lata D66a
    |    |--M. mangrovi MGV06
    |    |--M. sexiesperforata W79
    |    `--M. tenuis K-M02
    `--Encope Agassiz 1840 (see below for synonymy) D66b
         |--*E. grandis Agassiz 1840 M89
         |--E. aberrans M89
         |--‘Scutella’ cassidulina Desmoulins 1837 (see below for synonymy) D66b
         |--E. emarginata (Leske 1778) [=Echinodiscus emarginatus, *Echinoglyphus emarginatus, Scutella emarginata] D66b
         |--‘Scutella’ macrophora Ravenel 1843 [=*Macrophora macrophora, *Ravenellia macrophora] D66b
         |--E. michelini K-M02
         |--E. micropora M89
         `--E. wetmorei D66b

Encope Agassiz 1840 [incl. Desmoulinaster Lambert & Thiéry 1914, Echinoglyphus Gray 1852, Echinoglycus (l. c.) non Leske 1778, Macrophora Conrad 1865, Moulinia Agassiz 1841, Moulinsia Agassiz 1847 non Grateloup 1841, Ravenellia Lütken 1864] D66b

*Leodia sexiesperforata (Leske 1778) M89 [=Echinodiscus sexiesperforatus M89; incl. Echinus hexaporus Gmelin 1789 D66b, Leodia richardsoni Gray 1852 D66b, *Scutella sexforis Lamarck 1816 D66b]

*Mellita quinquiesperforata (Leske 1778) M89 [=Echinodiscus quinquiesperforatus M89; incl. M. testudinata Klein 1734 (pre-Linnean) D66b]

‘Scutella’ cassidulina Desmoulins 1837 [=*Desmoulinaster cassidulina, *Moulinia cassidulina, *Moulinsia cassidulina] D66b

*Type species of generic name indicated


[D66a] Durham, J. W. 1966a. Echinoids—ecology and paleoecology. In: Moore, R. C. (ed.) Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology pt U. Echinodermata 3 vol. 1 pp. U257–U265. The Geological Society of America, Inc., and The University of Kansas Press.

[D666b] Durham, J. D. 1966b. Clypeasteroids. In: Moore, R. C. (ed.) Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology pt U. Echinodermata 3 vol. 2 pp. U450–U491. The Geological Society of America, Inc., and The University of Kansas Press.

[K-M02] Klein-MacPhee, G. 2002. Triggerfishes. Family Balistidae. In: Collette, B. B., & G. Klein-MacPhee (eds) Bigelow and Schroeder’s Fishes of the Gulf of Maine 3rd ed. pp. 590–592. Smithsonian Institute Press: Washington.

[MGV06] Mai, A. C. G., A. M. Garcia & J. P. Vieira. 2006. Ecologia alimentar do barrigudinho Jenynsia multidentata (Jenyns, 1842) (Pisces: Cyprinodontiformes) no estuário da Laguna dos Patos, Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil. Comunicações do Museo de Ciências e Tecnologia da PUCRS, Serie Zoologia 19 (1): 3–18.

[M89] Mooi, R. 1989. Living and fossil genera of the Clypeasteroida (Echinoidea: Echinodermata): an illustrated key and annotated checklist. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 488: 1–51.

[W79] Warner, G. F. 1979. Aggregation in echinoderms. In: Larwood, G., & B. R. Rosen (eds) Biology and Systematics of Colonial Organisms pp. 375–396. Academic Press: London.

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