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Trilobite Facts and Information

Asaphiscus Triolobites

Asaphiscus wheeleri trilobite fossil from Utah

Fast Facts about the Asaphiscus Trilobites

Name: Asaphiscus wheeleri: The name Asaphiscus is based off the taxonomic family: Asaphiscidae. Wheeleri is named after the formation it's found in, the Wheeler Formation.

The main species name is wheeleri, not kingi. It was named by Meek in 1870. The work Kingii means King.

Taxonomy: Phylum: Arthropoda - Class: Trilobita - Order: Ptychopariida - Family: Asaphiscidae - Genus: Asaphiscus

Species: A. wheeleri & A. laeviceps

Age: Cambrian

Distribution: North America
These are common North American Trilobites found in Cambrian exposures.

Body Size:
Asaphiscus is a medium sized trilobite. They can grow to around a maximum of 3 inches in size.

Particle Feeder
They scavanged the ocean floor.

Physical Appearance:
Asaphiscus are very plain looking. They have no spines or ornamentation adn have a round cephalon and pygidium.

Asaphiscus Trilobite Facts and Information

Asaphiscus wheeleri is a plain looking trilobite from the Cambrian. It is one of the more abundant trilobites in the Wheeler Shale. Their body shape and mouth parts suggest Asaphiscus, as well as the rest of the order, was a particle feeder that walked along the sea floor.

Asaphiscus trilobites are mostly found with the free cheeks missing. The average size for an Asaphiscus is around 1 to 2 inches. Large ones are around 2.5", and HUGE ones are around 3". The largest COMPLETE one I've seen is one I've found (image below), it's at 2 7/8" (73mm).

Where to find Asaphiscus Trilobite Fossils

U Dig Quarry - An easy place to find Asaphiscus Trilobites.
U-Dig images by Albert B. Dickas, who is the author of some great Geology and Fossil Books!

Asaphiscus trilobites are mainly found along with Elrathia trilobites in the Cambrian Wheeler Shale in Utah and Nevada. They are the most common trilobite found in these areas.

To try and find your own Asaphiscus wheeleri trilobites, I would suggest going to the U-Dig quarry near Delta, Utah.

Click here to read about my trilobite fossil collecing trip in the Wheeler Shale near Delta, Utah

Recommended Trilobite and Fossil Hunting Books:

The Trilobite Collector's Guide
Andy Secher, 2024

This book by Andy Secher, a leading trilobite collector, offers a captivating journey into the world of these ancient arthropods. With over 400 stunning photos, entertaining top-ten lists, invaluable collecting tips, and ways to spot a fake trilobite, it's a must-have for fossil enthusiasts!

Trilobites: Common Trilobites of North America (A NatureGuide Book)
Jasper Burns, 2000

An excellent guide for identifying North American trilobites, featuring meticulous line drawings and concise information on classification, geologic range, and distribution. Ideal for enthusiasts seeking detailed insights and accurate identification of these ancient arthropods.

101 American Fossil Sites You've Gotta See
Albert B Dickas, 2018

This is a great updated fossil sites book with at least one fossil site in each state. Each site is broken into 2 pages. One has detailed information, such as directions, GPS coordinates, formation information, etc... The other is dedicated to images of the site and the fossils found there. It also gives information on fossil 'viewing' sites such as dinosaur trackways, museums, and active excavations.
Plus, my fossil photos are peppered throughout this book!

Trilobites from Fossil Era
Trilobite fossils are some of the most beautiful and collectible fossils in the world! They make beautiful display and conversation pieces and make affordable gifts for fossil and paleontology enthusiasts. Fossil Era has a huge selection of top quality trilobites from many states and many countries. It's fun just to browse through the inventory and look at all the different types!

Asaphiscus wheeleri Fossil Examples

All of the following fossil specimens come from the House Range in Utah

Timelapse Video of Prep Sequence


Asaphiscus wheeleri trilobite fossil prep sequence

This is another view of huge the Asaphiscus trilobite.

This is the largest complete Asaphiscus trilobite I've seen. It is also interesting, where its shell is REALLY thin and is wavy. The means it probably just molted and died, the exoskeleton didn't have time to harden (kind of like a soft shell crab). The video below shows it being prepped.

This is a beautiful orange Asaphiscus wheeleri trilobite fossil.

Formation:Wheeler Shale
Location:House Range, Utah

Overview of the Orange Asaphiscus wheeleri trilobite fossil

Photos of the preparation of the orange Asaphiscus wheeleri trilobite fossil.

This small Asaphiscus trilobite is inverted, the exoskeletin curves inward.

Formation:Wheeler Shale
Location:House Range, Utah

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