This Morocconites malladoides from Morocco shows great character, the carapace is two toned between a pale beige and jet black exoskeleton, this is due to the fossil deposition, the silts which entombed the trilobite around 400 million years ago. This trilobite as with all our specimens has great integrity when reviewed under a powerful lens, then the amazing preserved attributes of the genuine individual 'come alive' to coin a phrase.
The Morocconites had schizochroal eyes, a multitude of convexed lenses found in compound eyes of some of the order of Phacopida. The schizochroal lenses (in some Phacopida as many as 700), are much larger than in earlier trilobites. Each lens bears an individual cornea separated from each other by sclera (cuticular exoskeleton material). Morocconites schizochroal eyes had approximately 26 vertical rows (or files), each containing 5 or sometimes 6 lenses per file, making around 130 lenses per eye, these lenses can be viewed in this specimen.
Another distinguishing feature of this genus is the extended spine from the cephalon (head shield), in section this has a flattened rounded form and tapers to the distal point. The striking feature to this spine is its upward curvature or trend, which may have been a scouring, feeding device, however could have other uses as a display to ward off predators or a type of sexual morphism. The whole carapace has fine detailing and is wonderfully conserved in a dished and rounded rock form.
The Morocconites scientific classification is in order: Phacopida, suborder: Phacopina, family: Calmoniidae, subfamily: Acastinae. It is the only known species type in this genus, i.e. the genus is monotypic.