The Echinoid Directory

Encope L. Agassiz, 1840, p. 5, 17

[=Moulinia L. Agassiz, 1841, p. 3, 139, type species Scutella cassidulina Desmoulins 1837 [a juvenile Encope, possibly Scutella emarginatus Leske, 1778]; = Moulinsia Agassiz, 1847, p. 81 (non Grateloup, 1841)=Desmoulinaster Lambert & Thiery, 1914, p. 294 nomen novum pro Moulinia; =Echinoglyphus Gray, 1852, p. 37, type species Scutella emarginatus Leske, 1778; =Ravenellia Lutken, 1864, p. 168, type species Scutella macrophora Ravenel, 1843; =Macrophora Conrad, 1865, p. 134, type species Scutella macrophora Ravenel, 1843; =Encope (Echinadesma) Phelan, 1972, p. 126, type species Encope micropora L. Agassiz, 1841 ]

Diagnostic Features
  • Test discoidal with flat base; test margin moderately thickened.
  • Apical disc with five gonopores.
  • Petals weakly bowed and converging distally, but remaining open.
  • Ambulacral and interambulacral zones of similar width at ambitus.
  • Pores extend onto interambulacral plates.
  • Five well-marked ambulacral notches or lunules, and an anal lunule in the posterior interambulacrum.
  • Anal lunule extends between posterior pair of petals.
  • Food grooves bifurcating immediately distal to the basicoronal plates and highly branched distally.
  • Periproct opening at inner contact between the first paired post- basicoronal plates.
  • Paired interambulacra always disjunct, separated by first pair of post-basicoronal ambulacral plates. The posterior interambulacrum usually continuous, but occasionally with small gap between basicoronal and first post-basicoronal pair of plates.
  • Basicoronal plates strongly pentastellate with interambulacral plates projecting.
  • Internal partitioning extremely dense and spongiform. A wall of honeycombed meshwork separates the intestinal tract from the central cavity.
Early Miocene to Recent, the Americas.
Name gender feminine
Encope grandis L. Agassiz, 1841, p. 57, by monotypy.
Species Included
  • E. grandis L. Agassiz, 1841; Pliocene to Recent, Gulf of California.
  • E. emarginata (Leske, 1778); Pliocene to Recent, Caribbean, south eastern USA and north eastern South America.
  • E. michelini L. Agassiz, 1841; Pliocene to Recent Gulf of Mexico and south eastern USA.
  • E. wetmorei Clark, 1946; Recent, Gulf of Panama.
  • E. laevis Clark, 1948; Recent, Nicaragua.
  • E. micropora L. Agassiz, 1841; Pliocene to Recent, east coast of the Americas from California to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.
  • E. macrophora (Ravenel, 1843); Late Miocene and Pliocene of south east USA.
Classification and/or Status

Clypeasteroida; Scutellina; Scutelliformes; Scutellidea; Mellitidae.



Encope differs from Leodia and Mellita in possessing five gonopores. Mellitella differs from Encope in having no internal partition dividing the intestinal tract from the central cavity and in having the anal lunule opening behind the posterior petals.

X-ray tomography of juveniles of Encope michelini available at:

Agassiz, L. 1840. Catalogus systematicus Ectyporum Echinodermatum fossilium Musei Neocomiensis, secundum ordinem zoologicum dispositus; adjectis synonymis recentioribus, nec non stratis et locis in quibus reperiuntur. Sequuntur characteres diagnostici generum novorum vel minus cognitorum, 20 pp. Oliv. Petitpierre, Neuchâtel.

Mortensen, T. 1948. A Monograph of the Echinoidea IV.2 Clypeasteroida. C. A. Reitzel, Copenhagen.