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Temporal range: Late Carboniferous to Early Permian
P. longissima
Scientific classification

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.[1]

Early restoration of P. longissima

Phlegethontia is an aïstopod, a group of legless 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.[2]

Life reconstruction of Phlegethontia longissima

"Dolichosoma" longissima, named by Antonin Fritsch in 1875, has been reassigned to the genus Phlegethontia and is now considered to be P. longissima.[3][4] "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.[5][6]


  1. ^ "†Phlegethontia Cope 1871". Paleobiology Database. Fossilworks. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  2. ^ Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 54. ISBN 1-84028-152-9.
  3. ^ Fritsch, A. (1875). "Über die Fauna der Gaskohle des Pilsner und Rakonitzer Beckens". Sitzungsberichtde er Böhemischen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften. Prague. pp. 70–79.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Baird, D. (1964). "The aïstopod amphibians surveyed". Breviora. Museum of Comparative Zoology. 206: 1–17.

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