Sunday, September 11, 2011

Romingerella major from Kentucky

These are some specimens of a fossil coral called Romingerella major from the Louisville Limestone near Louisville, KY. These have been silicified and the original calcite skeletons replaced by Quartz. The process is not always the most detailed and produces features called "Beekite" (rounded blobs of Quartz) that often obscure the finer surface details.

It was thanks to this specimen that I was able to determine the species. Note the star like structures that surround the corralites.

This species may also be Thecia major but the book that I used to ID the specimen (E. C. Stumm. 1964. Silurian and Devonian Corals of the Falls of the Ohio. The Geological Society of America-Memoir 93 1-184 [A. Miller/K. Layou]) indicates that is should be called Romingerella major. As I can't find any more current reference I'm going to stick with the Stumm book.

Thanks to Mike and his cousin Kenny for showing me around Louisville.


  1. For the coral pieces, what would the beekite be? If the KY material has beekite, have any samples you can spare that I can scan in infrared? Has to be relatively flat, and I would need to buff them to a polish to get a good scan. It would be interesting to compare to my archive what type of quartz beekite refers to.

    1. Donald, Much of the beekite that I have seen is part of shells and so is not too flat. It's not confined to KY as I have found it in NY, PA, IN and OH. I suspect it's a variety of Calcedony. Shoot me an E-mail at dhayward74(at)gmail(dot)com and maybe I can find a few pieces that would suit your needs.