Rhenopterus is an extinct prehistoric eurypterid. Fossils of Rhenopterus have been recovered from deposits of Lower Devonian age in Germany.[1]

Temporal range: Lower Devonian, 409.1–402.5 Ma
The carapace of Rhenopterus compared to that of other rhenopterids Brachyopterus and Brachyopterella.
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Order: Eurypterida
Superfamily: Rhenopteroidea
Family: Rhenopteridae
Genus: Rhenopterus
Størmer, 1936
Type species
Rhenopterus diensti
Størmer, 1936
Other species
  • R. macrotuberculatus Størmer, 1974
  • R. tuberculatus Størmer, 1936


Rhenopterids were small, characterized by scattered tubercules and knobs on the outer surface of the exoskeleton. Their first two (or possibly three) pairs of walking legs had spines; the last two pairs were long and powerful, without spines. The prosoma (head) was subtrapezoidal, with arcuate compound eyes on parallel axes. The male genital appendages were short with two distal spines.[2]


Rhenopterus contains three valid species,[1] with other named species now seen as invalid or part of other genera.

  • Rhenopterus diensti Størmer, 1936 - Germany (Lower Devonian)
  • Rhenopterus macrotuberculatus Størmer, 1974 - Alken an der Mosel, Germany (Devonian)
  • Rhenopterus tuberculatus Størmer, 1936 - Germany (Devonian)

Invalid or reassigned species are listed below:

  • "Rhenopterus" latus Størmer, 1936 - Germany (Devonian), synonym of R. diensti.[1]
  • "Rhenopterus" sievertsi Størmer, 1969 - Germany (Devonian), reclassified as a species of Adelophthalmus.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c 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 http://wsc.nmbe.ch, version 16.0 http://www.wsc.nmbe.ch/resources/fossils/Fossils16.0.pdf (PDF).
  2. ^ Størmer, L. (1955) Merostomata. Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, Part P Arthropoda 2, Chelicerata, P39.
  3. ^ Poschmann, Markus (2006-01-19). "The eurypterid Adelophthalmus sievertsi (Chelicerata: Eurypterida) from the Lower Devonian (Emsian) Klerf Formation of Willwerath, Germany". Palaeontology. 49: 67–82. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2005.00528.x.