The Echinoid Directory

Lepidesthes Meek & Worthen, 1868, p. 522

[=Hybochinus Worthen & Miller, 1883, p. 331, type species Hybochinus spectabilis Worthen & Miller, 1883 ]

Diagnostic Features
  • Test shape globular; often taller than wide; plating strongly imbricate.
  • Apical disc small; plating monocyclic. Ocular plates nearly as wide as genital plates. Genital plates with multiple gonopores arranged in an arc.
  • Ambulacra straight and greatly expanded throughout; multiple aligned rows and columns of small hexagonal plates, up to 20 columns. Ambulacral plates imbricating orally, each with a small pore-pair. No primary tubercles.
  • No internal flanges perradially.
  • Interambulacral zones much narrower than ambulacral zones; composed of 3-5 strongly imbricate columns of rhomboidal plates, the most interradial overlying those on either side.
  • Interambulacral plates with fine granulation only.
  • Peristome small, plating unknown.
  • Lantern with deep wide pyramides with shallow foramen magnum; teeth broad and grooved; epiphyses very broad.
  • Tuberculation reduced to fine spiculation only. Spinelets short and simple.
Carboniferous, USA, Europe, former Soviet Union, North Africa.
Name gender feminine
Lepidesthes coreyi Meek & Worthen, 1868, p. 522, by original designation.
Species Included
  • L. coreyi Meek & Worthen, 1868; Keokuk Group, Lower Carboniferous, USA.
  • L. alta Kier, 1958; Meramecian, Tennessee, USA.
  • L. wortheni Jackson, 1896; Keokuk, Indiana, USA.
  • L. grandis Kier, 1958; Millsap Lake Formation, Upper Carboniferous, Texas, USA.
  • L. colletti White, 1878; Meramecian; Missouri, USA.
  • L. formosa Termier & Termier, 1950; Visean, Morocco.
  • L. formosus Miller, 1879; Kaskaskia Group, Lower Carboniferous, USA.
  • L. howsei Jackson, 1926; Visean, England.
  • L. extremis Jackson, 1912; Putnam Hill Limestone,Upper Carboniferous, USA.
  • L. caledonica Jackson, 1912; Visean, Scotland.
Classification and/or Status

Stem group Echinoidea; Lepidesthidae.

Presumed paraphyetic by exclusion of Meekechinus.


The differences between this taxon and Meekechinus are slight, Lepidesthes being generally rather tall and upright and without obvious small primary tubercles on its interambulacral plates and Meekechinus being more depressed and with small primary tubercles.

Growth of Lepidesthes was investigated by Kesling & Strimple (1966).

Jackson, R. T. 1912. Phylogeny of the Echini, with a revision of Paleozoic species Memoirs of the Boston Society of Natural History 7, 491 pp. 76 pls.

Kesling, R. V. & Strimple, H. L. 1966. Suggested growth pattern in the Mississippian (Chester) echinoid Lepidesthes formosa Miller. Journal of Paleontology 40, 1167-1177.

Kier, P. M. 1965. Evolutionary trends in Paleozoic echinoids. Journal of Paleontology 39, 436-465, pls 55-60.

Meek, F. H. & Worthen, A. H. 1868. Paleontology of Illinois. Geological Survey of Illinois, 3:291-565.