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Temporal range: Late Carboniferous to Early Permian
P. longissima
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Aïstopoda
Family: Phlegethontiidae
Genus: Phlegethontia
Cope, 1871
  • P. linearis Cope, 1871 (type)
  • P. longissima (Fritsch, 1875)

Phlegethontia is an extinct genus of lepospondyl amphibian from the Carboniferous and Permian periods of Europe and North America.

Early restoration of P. longissima

Phlegethontia was an aïstopod, a group of legless, burrowing, snake-like amphibians. It was about 1 metre (3.3 ft) long, and possessed a lightly built skull with many openings, unlike some earlier relatives.[1]

"Dolichosoma" longissima, named by Antonin Fritsch in 1875, has been reassigned to the genus Phlegethontia and is now considered to be P. longissima.[2][3] "Dolichosoma" has been considered to be a nomen nudum because the holotype was inadequately described through a layer of matrix by Thomas Henry Huxley in 1867.[4][5]


  1. ^ Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 54. ISBN 1-84028-152-9. 
  2. ^ Fritsch, A. (1875). "Über die Fauna der Gaskohle des Pilsner und Rakonitzer Beckens". Sitzungsberichtde er Böhemischen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften. Prague. pp. 70–79. 
  3. ^ Anderson, J. S. (2002). "Revision of the aïstopod genus Phlegethontia (Tetrapoda: Lepospondyli)". Journal of Paleontology 76 (6): 1029–1046. doi:10.1666/0022-3360(2002)076<1029:rotagp>;2. 
  4. ^ Huxley, T. H.; Wright, E. P. (1867). "On a collection of fossil vertebrates, from the Jarrow Colliery, County of Kilkenny, Ireland.". Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy 24: 351–369. 
  5. ^ Baird, D. (1964). "The aistopod amphibians surveyed". Brevoria: Museum of Comparative Zoology 206: 1–17. 

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