Cincinnati Trilobite Fragment Identifier


Trilobites are commonly found throughout the Cincinnati Area. Yet some people spend countless hours in fields and road cuts without a single trilobite to show for it. What's the secret to finding trilobites? There are several. This guide has been written to help give you what it takes to find and identify fragments and complete specimens of Cincinnati trilobites.

The first and foremost secret is persistence. People who have spent the most time looking for trilobites are usually the ones who have found the best specimens. Never give up.

The second secret is knowing where to look. Even though nice specimens can be found anywhere in Cincinnati, trilobite fossils are easily found in "zones" within the rock strata. In these zones, there are spots where you will find large populations of trilobite parts that are the result of molting. This is where trilobites have shed their old exoskeletons as they grew. You can increase your chances of finding a whole trilobite by finding a trilobite zone and looking carefully for trilobite parts.

The next secret is knowing what to look for. Use this web page to help identify trilobite parts and whole specimens that are partially below the ground.

Another secret is the skill of careful examination. Once you've found a place that shows evidence of trilobites, get on your hands and knees and look for whole trilobites. Often they are no bigger than a pebble. Close scrutiny of the ground will eventually pay off.

This guide describes the exoskeleton parts of many of the common trilobites in Cincinnati.

Descriptions and Images

Flexicalymene meeki
Isotelus maximus
Cryptolithus tessellatus 
Ceraurus milleranus, Ceraurinus icarus  and Amphilichas shideleri 

The images included on the Cincinnati Trilobite Fragment Identifier are from the collections of the Dry Dredgers, an association of amateur geologists and fossil collectors. All of these specimens were found in the Cincinnati area. The images are not photographs. They were all scanned with a hand scanner by Bill Heimbrock, a Dry Dredger member.

About The Fossil Images

About The Dry Dredgers

More about Cincinnati Trilobites by Rich Fuchs

More about Cincinnati Trilobites on Dan Cooper's home page

Other Cincinnati Fossils 

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The Cincinnati Trilobite Fragment Identifier was written and produced by Bill Heimbrock, Dry Dredgers member. Send Comments to

Fossil Grubbing is the sole property of Greg Courtney. All rights Reserved.

The Dry Dredgers and individual contributors reserve the rights to all information, images, and content presented here. Permission to reproduce in any fashion, must be requested in writing to is designed and maintained by Bill Heimbrock.