No revisions to the affinities of this possible alga have been published since its original description.
Dictyophycus – from the Greek diktyon, “net,” and phykos, “sea weed.”
gracilis – from the Latin gracil, “thin, slender or simple.” The genus and species names refer to the shape and structure of the organism.
Burgess Shale and vicinity: none.
Other deposits: none.
The Walcott Quarry on Fossil Ridge.
Dictyophycus was briefly described by Ruedemann (1931) as a possible alga. However, like all the other putative algae from the Burgess Shale, it awaits a formal redescription.
Dictyophycus has a frond-like shape, with a delicate net composed of smooth fibers forming irregular to regular meshes. No organic material is preserved between fibers. The attachment structure is also rarely preserved and may have been broken during burial.
Dictyophycus is only known in the Walcott Quarry where it is relatively common in some layers representing 0.59% of the total counts of specimens (Caron and Jackson, 2008).
Dictyophycus probably lived attached to the sea floor within the photic zone.
CARON, J.-B. AND D. A. JACKSON. 2008. Paleoecology of the Greater Phyllopod Bed community, Burgess Shale. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 258: 222-256.
RUEDEMANN, R. 1931. Some new Middle Cambrian fossils from British Columbia. Proceedings of the United States National Museum. 79: 1-18.