Taxonomy

This species was originally described under the genus Pattersoncypris as the first specimens were collected in the early 1970s by the famous evolutionary biologist and NHM Palaeontologist Colin Patterson.

More recently the shape of the carapace has been likened to the Chinese genus Harbinia and many ostracodologists now use this generic name.

A growing number of DNA studies on living ostracods have suggested that the carapace is not always a reliable character on which to base ostracod taxonomy. However, ostracod workers who work on extinct species only have these characteristics to use.

Exceptionally rare discoveries of preserved ostracod internal soft parts from the Silurian age more than 400 million years ago also suggest that taxonomy using shell characteristics is flawed. The extremely rare and exceptionally well preserved internal structures of Harbinia micropapillosa are almost identical to those of the living species Eucypris virens. Recent analysis of these internal structure by the ESRF synchrotron in Grenoble France suggests that Cretaceous ostracods reproduced using giant sperm in the same way that living ones do.