Planet Ipswich : A bridge between the Ipswiches of the world

Ipswich as a Scientific Name

Order of contents on this page: (Click on the links below):



    Extant Species:

          ipswichi/ipswichia Wasps

          Spirostemma ipswichensis

       Austrosimulium bancrofti Ipswich A and Ipswich B 

       Salmonella Ipswich

       Ipswich strains

    Extinct Taxon:

          The “Ipswich, Queensland” families 

          Species belonging to other families 


    Extant Species:

           Calyptochloa gracillima subsp. ipsviciensis

          Laciniaria ipswichiana

          Notelaea ipsviciensis

          Pandorea sp. (Ipswich)

    Extinct Species:

          Baiera ipsviciensis

       Ginkgoites ipsviciensis

          Ficus ipswichii & Ficus ipswichiana

          Polypodiisporites ipsviciensis & Thymospora ipsviciensis (Verrucososporites  ipsviciensis)


The name Ipswich, mainly in one of its Latin forms, has been used as part of the scientific nomenclature in 51 names of animals or plants.  Some of these will be alternative or earlier names for the same species but with the Latin “Ipswich” retained as the suffix (species indicator).  The name has been used to show the locality where the particular species was first recorded.  By far the majority have been named after Ipswich, Queensland, although at least one species has been named from each Ipswich in Jamaica, Massachusetts and England. 

Extinct species form the majority of those that have been named.  This is because of the rich fossil finds in the Ipswich Coal Measures of Queensland, Australia.  The Denmark Hill Insect Bed which is in a Carnian lacustrine siltstone in the Blackstone Formation has provided numerous specimens of the Mesozoic era (Upper Triassic and early Jurassic epochs).  Reference should be made to the Denmark Hill Conservation Park on the Ipswich, Queensland page and also to the Ipswich Basin page.  

The full list of scientific names is given below:


Ipsvicioidea (SUPERFAMILY)                               Ipsviciidae (FAMILY)                                 Ipsvicia (GENUS)
Ipsviciella (GENUS)                                                Ipsvicioides (GENUS)                                  Ipsviciopsis (GENUS)                                               
Archexyela ipswichensis                                       Arhopoideus ipswichia                               Austroblattula ipsviciensis                                   
Coccidencyrtus ipswichia                                      Copidosoma ipswichia                                Cyzicus ipsviciensis                                                
Estheria ipsviciensis                                              Euestheria ipsviciensis                                Gonatocerus ipswichia                                           
Gonatocerus  ipswichia varigattus                    Gonatocerus  ipswichia variguttus           Ipswichensis iridescens                                                                Ipsvicia acutipennis                                              Ipsvicia jonesi                                                Ipsvicia langenbergensis                             
Ipsvicia maculata                                                  Ipsviciella asiatica                                        Ipsvicioides minimus  
Ipsviciopsis elegans                                             Ipsviciopsis magna                                       Japania ipswichia                                                                                 
Macroglenes ipswichi                                           Mesohyridella ipsviciensis                         Mesojassus ipsviciensis                                           
Microgadus ipswichensis                                    Panopaea ipswisiensis                                parufens ipswichia                                                
Paralitomastix ipswichia                                    Pecten ipswichiensis                                     Phocion ipswichi (Plwcion ipswichi)                 
Pseudestheria ipsviciensis                                 Salmonella
Ipswich*                                     Spirostemma ipswichensis                                  
Tetracnemoidea ipswichia                                 Unio ipsviciensis


Baiera ipsviciensis                                                 Calyptochloa gracillima subsp. ipsviciensis      Ficus ipswichiana
Ficus ipswichii                                                         Ginkgoites ipsviciensis                                           Laciniaria ipswichiana                                                Notelaea ipsviciensis                                              Polypodiisporites ipsviciensis                            Thymospora ipsviciensis                                        Verrucososporites  ipsviciensis

* See entry below for explanation of nomenclature; this organism was considered a separate species from 1960 to 1973.

In addition to the names above, there is a classification of organisms known as “cytoforms”.  These are entities that are designated in literature informally, e.g. by numbers, letters or place-names, and might prove to be a valid species in nature, but cannot be recorded as such in the light of current knowledge.  Two cytoforms of Austrosimulium bancrofti are known as Ipswich A and Ipswich B (see entry below) and between 1987 and 2008 there was another cytoform known as Pandorea sp. (Ipswich) - see this entry in the Plantae section below.

A further classification is a “strain”.  In biology, a “strain” is a low-level taxonomic rank.  A strain is a genetic variant or subtype of a species, usually fungi or micro-organisms, e.g. a virus or bacterium.  The term refers to the descendants from a common ancestor that share the unique genetic information passed on to later generations.  In higher order animals, such as mice and flies, a “strain” is a group of that animal that is genetically uniform.  A strain can be descended from a modified life-form produced by conventional or laboratory breeding, or as a result of natural genetic mutation.  Certain strains can be considered “good” and do no harm, while other strains in bacteria, and particularly with viruses, are pathogenic and can cause serious illnesses.  (See Ipswich strains, below.)

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ipswichi/ipswichia Wasps

Entomologist & Taxonomist Alexandre Arsène Girault (1884 - 1941), more commonly known as A A Girault, was born in Maryland, USA, but moved to Queensland, Australia in 1911. A prolific researcher, he named over 3000 taxa (a term used to denote any group or rank in the classification of organisms e.g. class, order, family, species etc) throughout his career.  Girault was an eccentric and controversial figure.  He also increasingly became disillusioned with his colleagues in the same field.  He began to include acerbic criticisms, poems, and non-scientific comments in his papers, resulting in publishers turning his work away.  Consequently he published much of his work in privately produced pamphlets.  He was admitted to a lunatic asylum in 1936.

Six of the Australian species of insect that he initially described were named ipswichi or ipswichia, due to their discovery taking place in the forests near Ipswich, Queensland. Confusingly however, revised scientific thought has resulted in the subsequent reclassification of these species, so that today we have thirteen different names with the ipswichi/ipswichia suffix, but only five recognised species. Details of these name changes can be found below.

All five are in the order Hymenoptera & the superfamily Chalcidoidea. The order Hymenoptera comprises wasps, bees, ants & sawflies, of which over 130,000 species have been recognised worldwide. The name derives from the Ancient Greek hymen meaning membrane & pteron meaning wing, hence membrane winged. Within the Hymenoptera is the superfamily Chalcidoidea. These are the Chalcid wasps, of which there are more than 22,000 known species. Most are parasitic; attacking the eggs or larvae of other insects such as butterflies, moths, beetles & flies, as well as some spiders.
Tetracnemoidea ipswichia & Arhopoideus ipswichia: A new genus of the family Encyrtidae was named Tetracnemoidea by the American entomologist Leland Ossian Howard in 1898.  In 1915 Girault described a new genus within the Encyrtidae family that he named Arhopoideus (“The family Encyrtidae with descriptions of new genera and species”, Memoirs of the Queensland Museum).  The name “arhopoideus” is Greek for “not Rhopoideus”, the latter being a genus name given by Howard in 1898.  Then in 1922 Girault described a new species and he named this Arhopoideus ipswichia in his privately published manuscript: “The true remedy for head lice. Dedication of a new animal to the quality of majesty and so forth”.  By 1932 Girault had placed five species within the genus Arhopoideus.  However, other entomologists began to question his classification, and from 1929 to 1984 all five were re-classified into the genus Tetracnemoidea that Howard had originally proposed.  Arhopoideus ipswichia was re-classified as Tetracnemoidea ipswichia in the 1980 publication “Encyrtids of the genus Tetracnemoidea Howard, 1898 (Hymenoptera, Encyrtidae)”, Entomologicheskoe Obozreni, by V A Trjapitzin & G Gordh. 

Tetracnemoidea ipswichia is a dark metallic green in colour with white legs.
Japania ipswichia & Parufens ipswichia: In 1911, in the “Transactions of the American Entomological Society”, Girault described two new genera within the family Trichogrammatidae: Ufens (“Descriptions of nine new genera of the chalcidoid family Trichogrammatidae”), and Japania (“Synonymic and descriptive notes on the chalcidoid family Trichogrammatidae with descriptions of new species”). In the latter case he states that “Japania is more closely allied with Ufens”.  Girault seems to have named Ufens after a warrior of this name from ancient Latium in Virgil’s Aeneid.  The original locality of these type genera was to be found in China, so Girault perversely named the other Japania.

In 1913 he described a new subgenus from Australia that he named Parufens, using the Greek “par-” so that the name means “alongside Ufens” (“Notes on the chalcidoid Hymenoptera of the family Trichogrammatidae, with description of a new subgenus from Australia”, Revue Russe d’Entomologie).  The species Parufens ipswichia was first described in 1922 in “The true remedy for head lice. Dedication of a new animal to the quality of majesty and so forth”.  However, there were doubts as to whether Parufens was a true subgenus, and in 1968 it was re-classified as part of the genus Japania hence the species was renamed Japania ipswichia

Japania ipswichia is mainly black with orange-yellow on the head and white on parts of the leg.
Macroglenes ipswichi, Phocion ipswichi & Plwcion ipswichi: The genus Macroglenes was named in 1832 by John Westwood.  The same genus was given the name Pirene in 1833 by Alexander Haliday and he placed it in a family Pireninae in 1844.  Although Macroglenes has priority the name Pirene has become preferred and is more often used today.  An application has been made to change the genus name to Pirene, but has not yet been adopted, so it is still correct to have Macroglenes ipswichi.  Both genera have Greek names: Macroglenes means “large eyes” and Pirene was a water nymph.  

Girault described a species within the Pireninae family in 1925 in “Notes and Descriptions of Australian Chalcid Flies III” which he named Phocion ipswichi; Phocion being a new genus that he had discovered and named after the Athenian statesman, a contemporary of Alexander the Great.  Unfortunately, the name “phocion” had been used as a name for various butterfly species since 1781 (first applied by the Danish zoologist Johan Fabricius), so it could not be used for a genus of wasps.  Girault then proposed renaming it Plwcion ipswichi, using the Greek version of the name instead of the Latin “phocion”.  However, the Greek version had already been used for the butterflies in 1904 (John & Anna Comstock), thus Girault’s proposed change was not accepted.

Nevertheless, Phocion was eventually discovered to be the same genus as Macroglenes.  The accepted name change came in 1988 with the publication of “Australasian Chalcidoidea (Hymenoptera). A biosystematic revision of genera of fourteen families, with a reclassification of species” by Zděnek Bouček.  The species is now classified in the family Pteromalidae, subfamily Pireninae, genus Macroglenes

Macroglenes ipswichi is blue with clear wings.

Gonatocerus ipswichia, Gonatocerus ipswichia varigattus & Gonatocerus ipswichia variguttus: Gonatocerus ipswichia of the family Mymaridae (fairy flies) was first found in a forest near Ipswich.  It was described by Girault in 1922 and published in “New chalcid flies from eastern Australia (Hymenoptera, Chalcididae). II”, Insecutor Inscitiae Menstruus.  In 1933 a further specimen was collected at Ashgrove, New South Wales, and named Gonatocerus ipswichia varigattus by Girault.  This was first recorded in “New Trichogrammatidae and Mymaridae from Australia (Hym.)”, Revista de Entomología, Rio de Janeiro vol 9, in 1938, and because of the geographical isolation of the two locations where these specimens were found, the latter was considered a sub-species of Gonatocerus ipswichia.  Some time later, the preferred spelling for the Ashgrove specimen became Gonatocerus ipswichia variguttus.  This gave rise to the belief that Gonatocerus ipswichia comprised three sub-species, found at three different locations, and these were given the names: Gonatocerus ipswichia ipswichia, Gonatocerus ipswichia varigattus and Gonatocerus ipswichia variguttus.  (Sub-species are capable of interbreeding, but do not do so in nature because of their geographic isolation from each other.)  

The reputation of Giraud had suffered because of his eccentricities, and the scientific community came to the conclusion that these should probably all be classified as only one species, Gonatocerus ipswichia, in the family Mymaridae.  However, Edward C Dahms, the Curator of Entymology at Queensland Museum, revisited Giraud’s work in 1984, and concluded that there was a sub-species at Ashgrove.  This was again confirmed in “The Australian Genera of Mymaridae” by Nai-Quan Lin, John T Huber & John LaSalle, 2007, and the latest natural life directories recognise Gonatocerus ipswichia and its sub-species of Gonatocerus ipswichia variguttus, of which Gonatocerus ipswichia varigattus is now accepted as an earlier synonym.

The genus name Gonatocerus was given in 1834 by the German entomologist Christian Gottfried Nees from the Greek “gonat” (knee) and “ocerus” (horn), referring to the knee-like bend in its antennae.  

Gonatocerus ipswichia is predominantly black with yellow head & legs.

Copidosoma ipswichia, Coccidencyrtus ipswichia & Paralitomastix ipswichia : This species was first described by Girault in 1923 in the privately published Loves wooed and won in Australia.  He then named the species Coccidencyrtus ipswichia and the holotype (a single physical example of an organism) was placed in the Queensland Museum Brisbane.  It was soon after decided that this species should be placed in another genus, and Girault renamed it Copidosoma ipswichia.  In a review of the genera in the Encyrtidae sub-Family in 1984, it was proposed that it should be placed in yet another genus and it was renamed Paralitomastix ipswichia (A review of the genera of Indo-Pacific Encyrtidae by John S. Noyes & M. Hayat; Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History), June 1984).  The explanation given was that it:

“…..should very probably be considered synonymous with Copidosoma.  It can be distinguished from Copidosoma solely on the bicolorous antennal flagellum…….similar to those species placed in Paralitomastix, …and a characteristic sometimes used to separate the two genera.”

The latter proposal did not receive recognition, and it is difficult to know whether Copidosoma ipswichia is still accepted as a distinct species, particularly as the only specimen known is the holotype described by Girault.  It is still shown as a “current taxon” in the Australian Faunal Directory and the other two names are recognised as synonyms.  However, none of the “ipswichia” names appears in the 2012 CAB Abstracts, which are a global source of reference of the life sciences. Paralitomastix is no longer shown as a genus of the Encyrtidae, but Coccidencyrtus and Copidosoma are recognised genera. There are only five species in the present listing of Coccidencyrtus and “ipswichia” is not one of them. With Copidosoma there were 207 species in 2008 of which C.ipswichia was one, but it has been omitted in the latest update in August 2012 when only 204 species were recorded.

The full classification of Copidosoma ipswichia is that it belongs to the sub-family Encyrtinae within the family Encyrtidae which is part of the Chalcidoidea superfamily.  The Encyrtids are small wasps with an enlarged pair of middle legs used for jumping. They are grey to black, and extremely small, usually less than 2 mm long. The hosts include ticks and various insect eggs, larvae and pupae. Worldwide this subfamily has over 170 genera and about 1600 species.  Additionally there are over 200 unplaced genera and species (mostly Australian). The problem is that a separate species name may be applied because the particular wasp noted only seems to lay its larva in one host, whereas others will use several different hosts. Therefore this is a family that is in constant flux, as new hypotheses of relationships are constantly being proposed and rejected; with the advent of molecular systematics, it seems that the future will see further revisions of the classification in use today.

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Spirostemma ipswichensis

Spirostemma ipswichensis  (see photo, right) is a type of land snail with an elongated narrow shell found at Cockpit in the interior of St Elizabeth Parish, about ¼ mile west of Ipswich station in Jamaica in 1898, hence its species name.  It was described and illustrated by Henry A Pilsbry, Conservator of the Conchological Section of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia in the “Manual of Conchology, second series: Pulmonata” (1903) as: shell slender, pillar-shaped, the upper third or fourth slowly tapering, thin, red-brown or pinkish. It has 11 to 12 whorls, the last one tapering.  The aperture is oblique, subcircular, but a trifle longer than wide, the peristome (the edge of the lip of the shell) is white or pale brownish, and somewhat thickened. The length is between 13 and 15.7 mm, diameter 2.3 to 2.7 mm.

It belongs to the family Urocoptidae, a group of air-breathing land snails or terrestrial gastropod (class) molluscs (phylum) in the superfamily Urocoptoidea that are characterised by the ability to breathe air by virtue of having a lung sac instead of a gill. 
A Status Report on the Terrestrial Mollusca of Jamaica by G Rosenberg and I V Muratov (2006) failed to find this species, and it is recognised that with less than 15% of the original forest cover remaining this species could now be extinct.

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Austrosimulium bancrofti Ipswich A and Ipswich B

Austrosimulium is a genus of black flies belonging to the Simuliidae family in the order of Diptera, true flies of the insect world.  Over 1,800 species of black flies are known, and most gain nourishment by feeding on the blood of mammals.  Only four genera in the Simuliidae family contain species that feed on humans, and Austrosimulium is one of them.  They are distributed in Australia and New Zealand, and are a common nuisance for humans since they spread several diseases.  Programmes have been established to suppress the black fly population.

Austrosimulium bancrofti was first described in 1918 by Frank Henry Taylor of the University of Sydney, a leading research worker into insect carriers of disease.  This species is widespread in eastern Australia; its eggs are laid in running water, and the larvae attach themselves to rocks.  Continuing investigations into their life cycle were made at four sites.  These were cytologically examined and evidence from the data suggests there are at least eight sibling species.  However, further work is required to confirm this hypothesis.  Two of these were from larvae collected in rapids on the Brisbane River near Ipswich, Queensland, and these were named Austrosimulium bancrofti Ipswich A and Ipswich B (described in “Genome” (1991) by J W O Ballard & D G Bedo).

The subspecies category is not widely used in the Simuliidae family, so these are regarded as “cytoforms”, organisms that display differences based on chromosomal characteristics in the structure and function of their cells (“cyto-“ comes from Greek , meaning “cell”).  These entities thus remain of an undetermined status at present.  To emphasise that they are not yet regarded as separate species, the cytoform name is not italicised and the first letter is capitalised. 

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Salmonella Ipswich

This particular life form can be written “Salmonella Ipswich Kauffmann 1960”, an earlier synonym, or “Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica ser. Ipswich” (see nomenclature below).

Salmonella is a genus of the family Enterobacteriaceae within the phylum Proteobacteria.  It is a pathogen long associated with a number of infectious diseases, and constitutes a major public health problem.  It was first isolated in 1884 by an American pathologist Daniel Elmer Salmon.  Thereafter many salmonellae were differentiated by their serotypes or serovars, and each at first was considered a separate species.  A serotype or serovar is the category into which a bacterium is placed based on the number of cell surface antigens it contains, the antigen being the substance that provokes the production of antibodies from the immune system.

The nomenclature and classification of Salmonella species are complex and have been changed and restructured multiple times.  However, uniformity in Salmonella nomenclature is essential for communication between scientists, health officials, and the public as Salmonellosis is a major cause of bacterial illness in both humans and animals.  Surveillance activities depend upon the accuracy of serotype identification and are facilitated by standardised nomenclature.  This allows clinics and hospitals to detect human infections due to specific Salmonella serotypes at an early stage.  The nomenclature for the genus Salmonella has evolved from the initial one serotype-one species concept proposed by Kauffmann.  There are currently 2,463 serotypes (serovars) of Salmonella and this would result in that many species.  In 1973 it was demonstrated by DNA that all serotypes and subgenera of Salmonella were related at the species level; thus, they belonged in a single species.  Since then it has been found that there are three separate species each of which contains multiple serotypes.  In all it has been determined that there are over 4,400 serotypes.

In 2005, Salmonella enterica finally gained official approval as the type species of the genus.  Salmonella enterica is divided into six subspecies, one of which is also named enterica, and then the serotype name is placed last.  Serotypes received names according to the geographic location at which the new strain was first isolated, hence the full, long description as shown above.  For simplification only the serotype name is usually affixed to the genus Salmonella.  For named serotypes, to emphasise that they are not separate species, the serotype name is not italicised and the first letter is capitalised.  In the case of Salmonella Ipswich, this was first isolated in 1960 at the New England Biolabs in Ipswich, Mass., USA.

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Ipswich strains

Ipswich strains - see definition of “strain” given in Introduction, above. As with cytoforms and Salmonella Ipswich, the “strain” name is not italicised and the first letter is capitalised.  

There is a great deal of confusion over the naming of Salmonella ‘strains’ and even the people who work on Salmonella are confused.  The nomenclature for Salmonella is still evolving but, in essence, the ‘strains’ are generally different serovars of Salmonella enterica.  For this reason, we show this organism separately from other ‘strains’ (see above).

With bacteria and viruses it is important to know whether they are “gram positive” or “gram-negative”.  Gram stains are nearly always the first step performed on body fluid when infection is suspected since these yield preliminary identification of a bacterial organism much more quickly than other methods.  Gram-positive bacteria appear violet, while gram-negative bacteria do not and are a pink or red colour.  The name comes from the Danish bacteriologist Hans Christian Gram, who developed the technique.

Further information on bacterial and virus terminology can be found at, Misc. page, Suffolk as used in Virus Names.

Musca domestica - Ipswich strain: House flies (Musca domestica) are capable of carrying over 100 pathogens, such as those causing typhoid, cholera, salmonellosis, tuberculosis, anthrax, and parasitic worms.  Some strains have become immune to the most common insecticides.  One of these is the Ipswich strain.  Resistance to the insecticide permethrin in a strain of houseflies collected in August 1978 from a pig farm near Ipswich, England, at which excellent long standing housefly control with pyrethrins (household insecticides) had become unsatisfactory over a two year period, was one of the first in the UK in which resistance to such insecticides was detected.  (“Genetic and biochemical studies of resistance to permethrin in a pyrethroid-resistant strain of the housefly (Musca domestica L.)” by Russell A. Nicholson & Roman M. Sawicki in journal ‘Pesticide Science’, Vol. 13, publisher John Wiley & Sons, Limited (August 1982))

Knockdown resistance (referred to as ‘kdr’ or ‘super-kdr’) describes cases of resistance to diphenylethane (DDT) and pyrethroid (household insecticide) in insects, and was first identified in the house fly in the 1950s.  This came about from reduced sensitivity of the nervous system caused by mutations found in the insect sodium channel gene.  However, the Ipswich strain houseflies lacked this mutation, but were seen to degrade permethrin more rapidly than flies with ‘kdr’ or ‘super-kdr’.  Pyrethroid resistance in the Ipswich strain probably developed differently in response to prolonged treatment of the farm animal housing with pyrethrins that were used together with piperonyl butoxide (an organic compound that has no pesticidal activity of its own, but can enhance the potency of certain pesticides).  In this, they differed from other flies in their metabolism of permethrin and were thus a different strain that had developed separately.

Alexandrium tamarense - Ipswich strain: Alexandrium tamarense is an armoured, marine, planktonic species of dinoflagellate, known to produce a neurotoxin which causes the human illness clinically known as paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), associated with toxic PSP blooms in cold water coastal regions.  The dinoflagellates (Greek dinos “whirling” and Latin flagellum “whip”) are a large group of flagellate protists.  (Protists are organisms that are not animals, plants or fungi that form a separate kingdom of life.)  

Most dinoflagellates are marine plankton, but they are common in freshwater habitats, as well.  The species tamarense is widely distributed in cold-temperate coastal and estuarine waters in North America, Europe and Japan.  The size and shape of this species is highly variable.  It was first identified as a non-toxic algal bloom by the English marine biologist, Marie Lebour, in 1925 in the Tamar Estuary, near Plymouth, England, hence its species nomenclature.  It was then given the name Gonyaulax tamarense, but was later found to belong to the genus Alexandrium.  This genus was formally established with the description of its type by Professor Youssef Halim, an Egyptian marine biologist, in 1960 after this dinoflagellate produced a ‘red tide’ in the harbour of Alexandria in Egypt.  It became of worldwide concern as it was then identified as a ‘Toxic and Harmful Algae’.  The Ipswich strain was isolated by marine biologists J. Martin and L. Loeblich in January 1972 at Ipswich Bay, Gloucester, Massachusetts in what became known as the ‘New England red tide’ incident.  It was also confirmed as a harmful and toxic algal bloom.  The exact relationship between this strain and subsequent toxic PSP blooms in the northeastern Atlantic is still being investigated.   

Deer tick virus (DTV) - Ipswich strain: In March 1997, a team from the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, isolated the Deer tick virus (DTV) from Ixodes scapularis (the deer tick, formerly Ixodes dammini) collected in Massachusetts and Connecticut.  A variant strain found on the Crane Reservation, Ipswich, Massachusetts, was given the genome reference u93289 (IPS001).  It is a gram-negative, RNA positive-strand virus infecting New England deer ticks, primarily the white-tailed deer.  Deer tick virus causes encephalitis in humans and animals.  These viruses are found predominantly in the northern hemisphere in Siberia, central and eastern Europe and north-eastern North America.  Their virulence varies from mild to very serious according to the strains, those found in North America being particularly virulent, with a fatality rate of up to 60% and long-term neurologic effects in survivors.  

DTV is very closely related to the Powassan Virus.  The latter is the species name and it is an RNA virus split into two separate lineages, Lineage I, labeled as the “prototype” lineage, and Lineage II, the DTV lineage.  Lineage II has the most genetic variation which indicates that it is most likely the ancestral lineage that split as a result of positive natural selection “approximately 200 years ago”.  The virus belongs to the genus Flavivirus within the family Flaviviridae.  This genus includes the Zika virus, West Nile virus, and yellow fever virus, among many others.  Flaviviruses are named from the yellow fever virus, the type virus for the family; the word flavus means “yellow” in Latin, the name arising from its propensity to cause yellow jaundice in victims.

Neisseria meningitidis - Ipswich 2 strain: Neisseria is a large genus of bacteria that colonises the mucosal (mouth area) surfaces of many animals.  Of the 11 species that colonise humans, only two are pathogens, N. meningitidis and  N. gonorrhoeae.  The genus Neisseria is named after the German bacteriologist Albert Neisser, who in 1879 discovered its first example, N. gonorrhoeae.  The generic name Neisseria was given in 1885 by the Italian bacteriologist, Vittore Trevisan, although the name was not formally adopted until the 1930s.   

Neisseria meningitides, also referred to as meningococcus, is a gram-negative bacterium.  It is referred to as a coccus because it is round and, more specifically, diplococcus because of its tendency to form pairs.  It is the main cause of bacterial meningitis and septicaemia in children and young adults.  These are life-threatening diseases of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, known collectively as the ‘meninges’.  A description of an illness resembling meningococcal disease dates back to the 16th century.  The first evidence that linked the cause to a bacterial infection came in 1884, and in 1887 the Austrian bacteriologist Anton Weichselbaum isolated the bacterium in a sample of cerebrospinal fluid.  He named the bacterium Diplococcus intracellularis meningitidis,  later renamed Neisseria meningitides in the 1930s.  It colonises and infects only humans and has never been isolated from other animals.  The bacteria that cause meningococcal disease are common and live naturally at the back of the nose and throat. The bacteria are so fragile that they cannot survive for more than a few moments outside the human body.  For this reason, they are not very contagious; but are passed from person to person through prolonged close contact: coughing, sneezing, kissing or sharing drinks.  The illness occurs when the bacteria break through the protective lining of the nose and throat, and enter the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, they multiply rapidly, doubling their numbers every 30 minutes.  In some people the bacteria cross the blood-brain barrier, causing meningitis.  In others, overwhelming septicaemia (blood-poisoning) happens so quickly that there is no time for meningitis to develop.
With a fatality risk approaching 15% within 12 hours of infection, it is crucial to initiate testing to determine the strain as quickly as possible before initiating antibiotic therapy.  Disease-causing strains are classified according to the antigenic structure of the serovar (see Salmonella Ipswich above for explanation of these viral terms).  Serotyping is therefore of great importance for the development of vaccination strategies.

Meningococci form a single species which fall into broad serological groups.  This was recognised in 1909 and further intensive examination followed that resulted in the first classification of meningococci into two main groups (A & B).  In 1915 they were further sub-divided into four ‘types’ by bacteriologists Drs M. H. Gordon and E. D. G. Murray (“Identification of the Meningococcus” Journal No. 25 of the Royal Army Medical Corps (1915)).  The ‘four-type’ classification came to be used in the English-speaking countries, whereas the A & B groups (later two further groups were added) are recognised elsewhere.  These ‘types’ are classified by 13 serogroups or strains, 6 of which can cause serious illness in humans, and these are further subdivided into serotypes (or serovars) and subtypes dependent upon their protein and antigenic properties.   In the years after 1919 it became possible to place nearly all strains of meningococci into one of the Gordon-Murray ‘types’, and the serotyping of meningococci then became important in the characterisation of the strains for identification of the disease carrier in a patient.  

In January 1931 Dr. William McDonald Scott, a medical officer at the Ministry of Health in Britain and an acknowledged expert in bacteriological types, submitted a strain collected at the Ipswich General Hospital.  This was classified as a “Gordon & Murray Type 1, Ipswich 2 strain”.  This was placed in ‘Hazard Group 2’; this is a biological agent that can cause human disease, but where there is usually effective preventive treatment available to stop its spread and enable recovery of the patient.

Klebsiella pneumonia subsp. Ozaenae - Ipswich 932 strain:  The name “ozena” has been in use since the Classical ages of Greece and Rome for a polyp (abnormal growth of tissue) in the nose that has a thick, pungent, fetid discharge caused by a disease of the mucous membrane, often resulting in the decay of the nasal bone.  This is usually associated with the presence of bacteria of the genus Klebsiella.

Klebsiella is a genus of gram-negative, rod-shaped bacteria in the family Enterobacteriaceae, named after the German microbiologist Edwin Klebs (1834–1913) in 1885 by the Italian bacteriologist Vittore Trevisan.  Edwin Klebs had seen bacteria in the airways of individuals who died from pneumonia in 1875, but it was not until 1882 that Carl Friedländer (1847-1887), another German microbiologist, described the bacillus that was the cause of pneumonia.  This was at first termed the Friedländer bacillus, but in 1886 it was recognised as a species of the Klebsiella genus and given the name Klebsiella pneumoniae.

In 1893, the German bacteriologist Rudolf Abel (1868-1942) isolated the bacterium that caused ozena, and he named this Bacillus mucosus ozaenae (“Bakteriologische Studien über Ozaena simplex” (Bacteriological studies on ozaenae simplex.)  Zentralblatt fur Bakteriologie, Parasitenkunde, Infektionskrankheiten und Hygiene.  Abteilung I (Department I), 1893).  This was later recognised as a member of the Klebsiella genus and thought to be a separate species, so it was renamed Klebsiella ozaenae in 1925.  In 1984, the Danish physician and bacteriologist Ida Ørskov (1922–2007), who made the first scientific study pointing to the risk of bacterial cross-infection in hospitals, showed that it was actually a sub-species of Klebsiella pneumoniae, hence it received its present nomenclature.
As with other bacterial diseases it is important to recognise the particular strain that is being treated.  In Britain, Public Health Laboratories (PHLS) are based within large National Health Service Trusts where clinical departments require specialist, dedicated, medical microbiology support.  In 1952 Dr J. A. Sykes of the PHLS at Ipswich General Hospital isolated a strain of Klebsiella pneumoniae subsp. ozaenae from human sputum, and this was given the name ‘Ipswich 932’.  This was placed in ‘Hazard Group 2’; this is a biological agent that can cause human disease, but where there is usually effective preventive treatment available to stop its spread and enable recovery of the patient.

Brucella abortus - Ipswich strain: Brucella abortus is a gram-negative rod shaped bacterium that does not have a flagellum (the whip-like tail common to bacteria).  It is found in cattle populations but what makes this bacterium so dangerous is that it is zoonotic, meaning it can be transferred from an animal to a human host and still remain pathogenic.  In humans this disease causes ‘brucellosis’ caused by ingestion of unpasteurised milk or undercooked meat from infected animals, or close contact with their secretions.  

Brucellosis was first noted as a ‘new’ disease in 1851 in Malta. It came to the attention of British medical officers serving on the island and was first referred to as “Malta Fever” caught by British soldiers based on the island.  In 1886 Dr David Bruce, a British army surgeon, with the assistance of Dr Guiseppe Caruana Scicluna, the Maltese public health analyst, isolated the bacillus which Bruce named “Micrococcus melitensis”.  ‘Melita’ is Latin for Malta.  It was soon realised that the bacterium was being transferred from infected goats and sheep.  In 1920 the genus was renamed Brucella after Dr Bruce and was originally divided into three species, one of which was Brucella abortis.  The latter was found in cattle and caused their fetuses to abort.  It was not until 1924 in the USA that this species was first noted in humans.  In 1930 the term “brucellosis” superseded the various names by which the illness had been known up to that time.   

There are now known to be four Brucella species that can transfer to humans and cause disease, and it is therefore important that any strains that exist are identified and recorded.  A summary of these was collated in “Observations on Brucella species based on the examination of 800 strains” by J. C. Cruickshank & B. Madge (Cambridge University Press, 1954).  Among them was a strain of Brucella abortis found in the milk of local cattle herds, and isolated at the Public Health Laboratory Service at Ipswich General Hospital, England, by Dr J. A. Sykes (also instrumental in identifying a strain in the previous entry above).

Staphylococcus aureus - Ipswich strain: Staphylococcus aureus is a gram-positive, round-shaped bacterium that is frequently found in the nose and on the skin.  Staphylococcus was first identified in 1880 in Aberdeen by surgeon Sir Alexander Ogston in pus from a surgical abscess in a knee joint.  He gave it this genus name because under the microscope they “looked like bunches of grapes”; from the Greek “staphyle” (grape) and “coccus” (round).  In 1884, the German physician and microbiologist Friedrich Julius Rosenbach differentiated the bacteria by the colour of their colonies: hence S. aureus from the Latin “aurum” (gold).

An estimated 20% to 30% of the human population are long-term carriers of S. aureus.  It can lay dormant in the body for years undetected.  Once symptoms begin to show, the host is contagious for another two weeks and the overall illness lasts a few weeks.  Although S. aureus is not always pathogenic, it is a common cause of skin infections including abscesses, respiratory infections such as sinusitis, and food poisoning.  If untreated though, the disease can be deadly.  S. aureus infections can spread through contact with pus from an infected wound, skin-to-skin contact with an infected person, and contact with objects used by an infected person such as towels, sheets, clothing or equipment.  As such, it is still one of the five most common causes of hospital-acquired infections, particularly following surgery.

In the 1960s certain strains of S. aureus were found to have the ability to become resistant to the antibiotic methicillin.  These are known as methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and they became a common cause of infection in healthcare institutions around the world (referred to as “healthcare-associated MRSA”).  Then, in 1986, strains of MRSA were detected in Western Australia in the community by people who had not had any contact with a healthcare institution (referred to as “community MRSA”).  Many patients were Polynesian and typical infections involved the skin and soft tissues.  It was assumed that this strain had been imported from the Pacific islands.  When the incidence of infections from “community MRSA” became more prevalent among the Caucasian population, surveys were conducted to determine the cause.  In 2000 a clone was first identified at the Ipswich Hospital in Queensland, hence this strain had emerged.  In Australia there are now at least five strains of “community MRSA” recognised, one of which is the “Ipswich strain”.

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The “Ipswich, Queensland” families

The finds of Benjamin Dunstan, the Australian Chief Government Geologist, and the noted entomologist Robert John Tillyard in the Denmark Hill Insect Bed at Ipswich, Queensland, form the basis of an extinct family of Hemiptera.  The venation (vein pattern) of their tegmina (the tegmen is the leathery front wing on an insect) has proved difficult to interpret.  Consequently, the relationship of this family with other groups of Hemiptera has been uncertain.  Nevertheless, Tillyard in 1919 described three forewings or tegmina of fossil insects where venational features indicated that they were from different species of the same genus which he named Ipsvicia (occasionally spelt Ipsvichia in the 1920s).  At the same time, as these tegmina were very distinct from anything known in the modern era, he placed the genus in a new family of extinct insects called Ipsviciidae, and projected a super-family which he named Ipsvicioidea.  All the names derive from the Latin spelling of Ipswich.

Subsequent finds placed a number of Upper Permian insects into the Ipsviciidae family and soon they were no longer restricted to Australia.  By 2015 there were 12 genera recognised as part of this family found around the world in Australia, China, France, Germany, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation, and South Africa, ranging over the Permian, Triassic and Jurassic epochs.  Only four of these genera contained a name associated with Ipswich; the number of species within each genus is shown in brackets: Ipsvicia (4), Ipsviciopsis (2), Ipsviciella (1), and Ipsvicioides (1).

The three forewings or tegmina described by Tillyard in 1919 came from fossil insects that he named Ipsvicia jonesi, Ipsvicia maculata and Ipsvicia acutipennis.  (Full reference to the descriptions is given in “Mesozoic Insects of Queensland. No. 7 Hemiptera Homoptera”, R J Tillyard, 1919.)  They were each considered to be a type of jassid, another name for a leafhopper.  The leafhopper or ‘hopper’ is a common name applied to any species from the family Cicadellidae which are feeders that suck plant sap from grass, shrubs or trees.  Ipsvicia jonesi was described in the newspapers as a “giant jassid”.  The wing had a total length of 14.2 mm and breadth of 5.6 mm.  It was named after Alfred J Jones, the Secretary for Mines in the Queensland government of the day.  Ipsvicia maculata was smaller with a wing length of 13.5 mm and probable breadth of 4.6 mm.  The specific name indicates the very strongly spotted appearance of the tegmen when viewed with the naked eye.  Ipsvicia acutipennis was the same size as the last named; the suffix “acutipennis” means “pointed wings”.  Ipsvicia langenbergensis - a fossil forewing discovered in 2011 from the Upper Triassic lacustrine deposits at Mount Langenberg near Seinstedt, Lower Saxony (Germany), is the first definite record of the genus Ipsvicia found outside Australia (G Barth, J Ansorge, and C Brauckmann “Polish Journal of Entomology”, 2011).

Tillyard subsequently described two other fossil tegmina (forewings) which, because of differences from the earlier finds, he placed in a new genus, Ipsviciopsis within the Ipsviciidae family; Ipsviciopsis means “apparently similar to Ipsvicia”.  The two species were: Ipsviciopsis elegans with a wing length of 12.5 mm and breadth of 3.8 mm - the species name means ‘elegant’; and Ipsviciopsis magna which only had a fragment of the wing, the length of which was 10 mm, but indicated an overall length of 26 mm, hence the species name of magna = large.  (Full reference to the descriptions is given in “Mesozoic Insects of Queensland. No. 9 Orthoptera”, R J Tillyard.  The Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, 1922.)

Ipsviciella asiatica
: In 1962 a forewing was found in the Early Jurassic Dzhil Formation near (lake) Issyk-Kul in Kyrgyzstan.  It was recognised as a separate genus and assigned to the Ipsviciidae family, and given the name Ipsviciella asiatica, as the genus and species type, by Russian entomologist Elena E. Becker-Migdisova.  The name means “little one (= suffix ‘ella’) resembling ipsvicia belonging to Asia”.

In 1919 Tillyard proposed a super-family named Ipsvicioidea.  The Ipsviciidae were obviously a family within this classification.  In 1980 the Granulidae, a newly found extinct family from the Middle Triassic fluvial-lacustrine strata in the Laiyang Basin of Shanxi Province, eastern China, was also assigned to it.

However, since 1919 there has been much debate as to which super-family the Ipsviciidae belong, and whether the Ipsvicioidea represents a true super-family.  It is beyond the scope of this piece to enter this argument.  What can be stated is that Ipsviciidae is a family of the kingdom of the Animalia of the phylum of the Arthropoda of the class of the Insecta of the order of the Hemiptera.  The latter is an order of insects colloquially known as the ‘true bugs’ because of their capability to suck plant sap from grass, shrubs or trees.  They emerged in the early Permian epoch and comprise species of cicadas, aphids, planthoppers, leafhoppers, spittlebugs and others.  Hemiptera means
half wing and refers to the fact that part of the first pair of wings is toughened and hard, while the rest of the first pair and the second pair are membranous. However, the taxonomic status of the orders and families below that of Hemiptera has been under discussion for a while.  It was first suggested in 1992 that the super-family Ipsvicioidea was synonomous with the super-family Scytinopteroidea described in 1906 by Anton Handlirsch, the Austrian entomologist.  As this name was proposed before that of Tillyard (in 1919), this takes precedence.  This has now been accepted as correct after work done by the Polish entomologist Jacek Szwedo in 2018 of the University of Gdansk (Danzig) in his “Classification, diversity and disparity of the Hemiptera”.

Ipsvicioides minimus: In 1973 a forewing was found at the Omine coal mine at Yamaguchi, on the main island of Honshu in Japan.  It had been laid down in a Carnian lacustrine silica-bearing sedimentary strata in the Momonoki Formation.  This strata is a characteristic of the deposition of deltaic conglomerates and coal beds, alternating with muddy sandstone sediments.  The forewing measured 7.0 x 2.2 mm and was laid down between 235 to 221 million years ago in the Triassic epoch.  The find was described by Ishida Fujiyama in “Mesozoic insect faunas of East Asia, part 1, Introduction and Upper Triassic fauna.”  Fujiyama, Bulletin of the National Science Museum, Tokyo, Vol.16 (1973).  He placed it in a new genus of the Ipswiciidae family that he named Ipsvicioides after the projected super-family of Tillyard.  The species type was named Ipsvicioides minimus, meaning “the smallest one”.   

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Species belonging to other families

Archexyela ipswichensis: This is a fossil sawfly species belonging to the Xyelidae family.  The Xyelidae (named in 1835) is today a small family with fewer than 50 extant species in 5 genera, but with an extensive fossil record.  They are the oldest fossil Hymenoptera, dating back to the Triassic, between 245 and 208 million years ago, and most fossils were found in the Northern Hemisphere.  The first of these early xyelids found in Australia were two specimens discovered in 1955 from the Late Triassic Mount Crosby Formation of the Ipswich Coal Measures to the north of Ipswich, Queensland, and the name Archexyela was proposed for the genus by the Australian entomologist Dr Edgar Riek.  The species was named Archexyela crosbyi.  In 2005 another specimen comprising a forewing was found from the same formation but had a number of significant differences.  Michael Engel of the Entomology Division of the University of Kansas, therefore, gave the name Archexyela ipswichensis to the new species, which was described in the “Memoirs of the Queensland Museum”, December 2005.  

Austroblattula ipsviciensis: In the 1915-16 period the wing of a fossil cockroach was found in the Denmark Hill Insect Bed at Ipswich, Queensland, by Dunstan and Tillyard (see The “Ipswich, Queensland” families above).  The definitive description was given by Tillyard in “Mesozoic Insects of Queensland, Blattoidea” in The Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales (1919).  Tillyard gave it the new genus and species name of Austroblattula ipsviciensis, and a new family name Mesoblattinidae (from “Mesozoic Blattinidae”) within the order Blattodea (cockroaches).  It has only been found at the Denmark Hill Insect Bed.  The specimen is a 7.5 mm long fragment of the left tegmen (forewing).
Cyzicus ipsviciensis, Pseudestheria ipsviciensis, Euestheria ipsviciensis & Estheria ipsviciensis:
Palaeontologists seem to have overlooked the fact that the generic name Estheria was first used for a fly from Nova Scotia by the entomologist Jean-Baptiste Robineau-Desvoidy in the year 1830.  In 1837 Hercule Straus-Durckheim published an article in which he described a crustacean, the discovery of which he credited to Dr Eduard Rüppell. The name Estheria was also given to this crustacean, which is found on islands off the coast of Eritrea, the name being inspired by the popularity of the biblical Esther among the inhabitants of that region.  The famous French naturalist Jean Victoire Audouin also proposed a name Cyzicus in 1837 for the same crustacean that had been brought back from Oran in Algeria and the Russian provinces along the Black Sea.  (Cyzicus was an ancient city on an island in the Sea of Marmora, half way between these two locations.)

Since Audouin had merely indicated the genus without giving a description, whilst Straus-Durckheim had provided a full description and characteristics, the name Estheria was adopted.  It was a great many years before the fact that the name Estheria could not be used for the crustacean caused zoologists any concern.  Near the end of the century Audouin’s name began to be used since the earliest use of a name for a genus always takes precedence in the zoological world, and the fly had achieved this in 1830.  In 1910 the naturalist E P Stebbing established the name Cyzicidae and Cyzicus for the extant family and genus of crustaceans.

This matter was of little interest to the palaeontologist, for the species involved were all modern, so the palaeontological world carried on using Estheria to describe an extinct crustacean species.  In an attempt to avoid confusion, but to retain the link to their preferred name, palaeontologists turned to other names: Euestheria was first coined in 1912 by Charles Depéret and Pierre Mazeran (
Bulletin de la Société Histoire Naturelle dAutun, 1912).  In 1946 Percy E. Raymond came up with Pseudestheria noting: “Since Estheria is a fly, it is not good practice to name a crustacean in such a way as to mislead entomologists…..  therefore, I am  using Pseudestheria, as the “false” portion of this name should be a warning to them.  I should have avoided such a practice were it not for the fact that “Estheria” looms large on the horizon of the palaeontologist, whereas Estheria is just an unimportant fly, lacking even a nuisance value”.  This was enough nonsense for the zoological world and, at the 14th International Congress of Zoology in 1953, the name Cyzicus was adopted in all circumstances, past and present, for this crustacean.  

The earliest record of the occurrence of the fossil Estheria in Australia was made in 1880.  The next discovery was made by Robert Etheridge Junior in the Upper Triassic deposits at Denmark Hill, near Ipswich, Queensland in 1892.  He considered the genus to be Estheria mangaliensis, but in 1927 John Mitchell, Principal of the Technical College and School of Mines at Newcastle, NSW, noted significant differences from that genus and considered the Ipswich find “to be a new species, and dedicate it to the locality or measures from which it was obtained” (“The Fossil Estheriae of Australia”, Part i., John Mitchell, 1927).  Thus, Estheria ipsviciensis or the alternative nomenclature Euestheria ipsviciensis came into being.  In 1946 Percy E. Raymond, curator of Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology, introduced Pseudestheria ipsviciensis, basically for those specimens that could not be easily identified: “Pseudestheria and Euestheria are much alike, the difference being entirely in the sculpture.  Since the pattern of the latter can only be seen under the microscope, it is impossible in many cases to make definite identifications.  Pseudestheria must inevitably become a sort of dumping ground for not-too-well preserved fossils.” (“The Genera of Fossil Conchostraca — an Order of Bivalved Crustacea” Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard College, USA, 1946).

The fossil Cyzicus ipsviciensis (since 1953) is represented by the bivalved phyllopodous crustacean of the present day, commonly known as the clam shrimp.  It looks like a tiny shrimp but has the distinct characteristic of living enclosed between two shells and, as such, it resembles the unrelated bivalved mollusc.  The animal is well segmented, and is able to withdraw wholly within its shell.  The shell varies in size from one-eighth to one inch in length, and is of rounded, flattened form.  They are known from the fossil record from at least the Devonian period and are found in the fossil state in deposits of fresh and brackish water origin.  During past geological periods, clam shrimp were apparently more numerous and common than they are now with over 300 extinct species known.  In freshwater deposits, generally poor in fossils, well-preserved clam shrimp shells are found quite often.  They help identify the age of the corresponding strata, and this was one reason for their importance to palaeologists and why they wished to retain the name Estheria.

Mesohyridella ipsviciensis & Unio ipsviciensis
: This is a fossil freshwater mussel of the bivalve class in the phylum mollusca; however, it is of uncertain affinity, but possibly belongs to the sub-family Hyridellinae.  It was first found in 1886 in the beds at the top of the Ipswich Coal Measures (hence the species name) at the Bremer Basin Colliery, Queensland, and is of Upper Triassic age.  It was described and classified by Robert Etheridge, Junior & Robert L Jack (
Geology and Palaeontology of Queensland & New Guinea, 1892).  The original designation was Unio ipsviciensis since it was assigned to the Unionidae family.  This is the largest family of freshwater mussels in the Order Unionoida, and the distribution for this family was considered world-wide at the time.  However, it soon became apparent that most of the 29 known current species of freshwater mussels in the Australian Zoogeographic Region (Australia, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and New Zealand) are members of the Hyriidae, a family shared with South America and distantly related to the unionid mussels of the other continents.  It, therefore, seemed likely that the fossil bivalve also belonged to that family and not the unionids.   

In 1956 Donald McMichael revisited the Mesozoic bivalves from Australia and presented detailed descriptions of the fossils in an attempt to alleviate some of the taxonomic confusion that had arisen within the various groups (
A Review of the Fossil Freshwater Mussels (Mollusca, Pelecypoda) of Australasia, 1956).  He established three Mesozoic genera of mollusca of which Mesohyridella (from “Mesozoic Hyridella”) was one.  He placed one species in this genus, Mesohyridella ipsviciensis, and had this to say: “This genus is erected since it is necessary as the resting place for the Mesozoic species Unio ipsviciensis which does not seem to belong with any of the other described recent or fossil forms.  The name is based on the vague resemblance which the species bears to some of the modern species of Hyridella, but should not be taken to imply any definite genetic affinity.”  Unfortunately, no more material since 1956 has shed any light on its relations within the Hyriidae family.  The difficulty here is that shapes of the shells vary with local environmental conditions, so that variation even within populations can be bewildering.  However, advances in molecular genetics are being made and future re-classifications may result.

Mesojassus ipsviciensis
: A fossil insect species derived from a forewing found in 1909 in the Denmark Hill Insect Bed at Ipswich, Queensland.  It was described by the Australian entomologist Robert John Tillyard (
Mesozoic and Tertiary Insects of Queensland and New South Wales, Queensland Geological Survey, 1916).  It was dated to the Upper Triassic and Tillyard assigned it to the Jassidae family of leafhoppers in 1916, and named the genus Mesojassus (from “Mesolithic Jassidae”) with ipsviciensis being the only type species.  Since the Jassidae family is coextensive with the Cicadellidae family and cannot easily be distinguished from it, in 1923 Tillyard transferred it to the Cicadellidae; in 1992 it was further re-assigned to the Archijassidae family.

Microgadus ipswichensis: This is a fossil otolith found at Gedgrave, Suffolk, England, in the Coralline Crag, and an incomplete specimen found in the crag at nearby Sutton.  They were named after the town of Ipswich near where the type specimen was collected.  They were laid down in the Miocene epoch, between 23 and 5 million years ago.  

Otoliths are commonly referred to as “earstones” or “fish ear bones”.  They are hard, calcium carbonate structures located directly behind the brain of fish.  Otoliths help with balance, orientation, and sound detection.  They have a very distinct shape, which is characteristic of the species of fish.  That is, different fish species have differently shaped otoliths, thus biologists can determine the species of fish from this one individual structure.

This was the first record of the genus Microgadus in Europe, the two species found today being restricted to the shores of North America.  It is an inshore fish so this indicates that in the geological past there was a wider distribution of this fish.  The otoliths of M. ipswichensis closely resemble those of the present species of M. tomcod from the North West Atlantic, but differ in a slightly more compressed shape with a more deeply curved ventral rim.  

The fossil was first scientifically described by Theodore N Gill (1837-1914), an American ichthyologist who wrote many treatises on fish.  He was professor of zoology at George Washington University and the librarian at the Smithsonian Institute.  The description and name was published in “On the Cranial Characters of Gadus proximus Grd” in the Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Science, Philadelphia, 1865.  It was more recently described in “The Otoliths from the Miocene of the North Sea Basin” by Werner Schwarzhans, 2010.

The “tomcod” or “tommy cod” as an edible fish has long been known by Europeans since their arrival in North America.  It resembles a small cod and is found in North American coastal waters from the Gulf of St. Lawrence south to Virginia.  The English often use the name “tom” as an affectionate diminutive.  The scientific genus name of Microgadus was given by the German naturalist Johann Walbaum in 1792 and just means “small fish” from the Greek micro and the Latin gadus (fish).

Panopaea ipswisiensis, Ipswichensis iridescens & Pecten ipswichiensis
: This is a fossil bivalve mollusc which is illustrated under the name Panopaea ipswisiensis in several 19th century books on conchology.  Achille Valenciennes, Professor of Zoology at Le Jardin des Plantes, Paris, identified it in 1839, and recorded the name in 1843.  He explains this in
Les Archives du Muséum d’histoire naturelle, Volume 1 (1859): “Concerning the fragments that Sowerby found in the similar bed of the crag around Ipswich (Suffolk), they are certainly not the same species as Panopaea faujasi nor the same species as found in London Clay. The projection of the nymph (the narrow ledge on the hinge behind the umbo - the protubing part of the shell, to which the external ligament is attached) and the concavity of the shell would suffice to characterise it, when we have whole individuals, to be certainly a separate species that I propose to name Panopaea ipswisiensis”.  However, the notable Belgian palaeontologist PierreHenri Nyst disagreed, and since 1881 Panopaea ipswisiensis has been considered a synonym of Panopaea faujasi.  

An alternative name Ipswichensis iridescens was also applied to this fossil in 1843, but it never received any recognition (in
Index Animalium by Charles Davies Sherborn, an English taxonomist who catalogued the 444,000 names of every living and extinct animal discovered between 1758 and 1850; printed by the British Museum 1927).

Before the above scientific studies differentiated between the various species, shells found in the Red Crag near Ipswich were designated Pecten ipswichiensis (“Recreations in Geology” by Rosina Maria Zornlin, 1839).  This was a general name given to any species of bivalve molluscs, but particularly applies to the genus Pecten (family Pectinidae), colloquially known as scallops.

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Calyptochloa gracillima subsp. ipsviciensis

Calyptochloa gracillima subsp. ipsviciensis is a recently discovered subspecies first noted in April 2012 by E. John Thompson and Bryan Kenneth Simon, and reported in “A revision of Calyptochloa C.E.Hubb. (Poaceae), with two new species and a new subspecies endemic to southeast Queensland” in “Austrobailey” Vol 8 (4): published by the Queensland Herbarium, 2012.

Calyptochloa gracillima is a species of grass (family Poaceae - true grasses) and the only species of the genus Calyptochloa.  It is found in Queensland, Australia, and was first described by the British botanist Charles Edward Hubbard in 1931, the then world authority on the classification and recognition of grasses.

Calyptochloa gracillima subsp. ipsviciensis is only found in the vicinity of Ipswich where it is known from a few small areas.  It is found on loam to clay loam duplex soils derived from shale on gently undulating to hilly terrain.  The habitat is typically moderately shaded.  It is similar to C. gracillima subsp. gracillima in growth habit but on average it is taller, the mats cover a greater area and the leaves are more yellowish green.  It differs in detail, size and other aspects from other subspecies.  It flowers from December to March during the wet season.
The subspecies ispviciensis is only known from a few locations near the urban centre of Ipswich, two of which are on Ipswich City Council reserves, and this very restricted range and the few small populations suggest the conservation status of this subspecies should be considered Critically Endangered.  Current threats include invasion from weeds, inappropriate burning regimes, urbanisation and road construction.

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Laciniaria ipswichiana

Laciniaria ipswichiana is a flowering plant listed by the Philadelphia Herbarium, Academy of Natural Sciences. It appears that this may be an unpublished name for a variety of the species Liatris scariosa. This was a name given by E S Steele, who split Liatris scariosa into scores of species.

Edward Strieby Steele (1850-1942) was a botanist who worked for the United States Department of Agriculture, & later for the United States National Museum, Division of Plants.

The specimen of Laciniaria ipswichiana in the Philadelphia Herbarium was found growing in New England, probably in eastern Massachusetts. It is listed as Liatris scariosa which is commonly known as ‘Devil’s Bite’; a species common to the eastern United States. 

                                                                                                                                                                              Liatris scariosa      

The genus Laciniaria is synonymous with Liatris, which belongs to the aster family.  The name Laciniaria comes from Latin “lacinia” meaning ‘fringed’ from the appearance of the flower heads.  The name Laciniaria was used first by English botanist John Hill in 1762 and would normally have taken precedence over Liatris, since the latter name was only coined in 1791 by the German naturalist Johann Schreber for the same genus.  The earlier name was rejected by the International Botanical Congress to avoid confusion with the same scientific name given in 1801 by the French naturalist, Jacques Drapernaud, to a genus of land snails (commonly known as ‘door snails’).  In 1943 Steele’s listing was revised by L. H. Shinners (The American Midland Naturalist, Vol 29, No. 1 (University of Notre Dame, Indiana)), and Laciniaria ipswichiana is no longer given, even as a variant of Liatris scariosa.       

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Notelaea ipsviciensis

Notelaea ipsviciensis, also known as the Cooneana Olive, is found in only three closely clustered but fragmented locations in an area measuring less than one square mile in the Bundamba/Ebbw Vale/Dinmore districts of Ipswich, Queensland. It is a critically endangered species; some of the main threats being land disturbance due to open cut coal mining, urbanisation, insect pests, weed invasion, grazing & vandalism. In December 2008 only 17 specimens were known to exist. The species grows as an understorey plant in open woodlands, and is primarily associated with eucalypt-dominated dry sclerophyll communities situated on the poor, sandstone-based soils associated with the Ipswich Coal Measures. It is a slow growing plant, can reach a height of up to ten feet & is occasionally multi stemmed. It is an evergreen shrub, with leaves that grow to a little over three inches in length, by around ¾ inch wide.  It produces small cream-yellow flowers, with purple, fleshy fruit less than ½ inch in diameter, surrounding one seed.  It is tolerant of both drought & periodic fires, & is closely related to Notelaea lloydii; another species found in the Ipswich area.

The first identified specimen of Notelaea ipsviciensis was collected in 1976, near to the present day Cunningham Highway in an area known as the “Cooneana Paddock”, by Ipswich resident  Ron Liebram, who submitted it to the Queensland Herbarium for identification, where it was noted that it differed from other species native to the area. Due to land disturbance from the nearby coal mines, no further specimens could be found at that time & the species was thought to be extinct, before it was rediscovered close to the original site in the 1980s.

Originally given the scientific name Notelaea sp. Bundamba, the species was officially recognised in 2004 & named Notelaea ipsviciensis by W K Harris. The plant is now listed under the Australian Federal Government's Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The University of Queensland have a number of the plants growing on their campuses both at Ipswich & at Gatton.

Notelaea is a genus of Australian plants within the family Oleaceae.  Oleaceae contains around 600 species of mesophytic shrubs, trees & vines. As well as the Olive (Olea europaea), the family also includes the jasmines, lilacs, ash & forsythia.

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Pandorea sp. (Ipswich)

This was the scientific name given to the Ipswich Wonga Wonga Vine between 1987 and 2008 when its status was still undetermined as to whether it was a separate species, thus it was treated as a cytoform.  This plant had first been described in 1838, but it was long regarded as just a variation of the more common Wonga Wonga Vine (Pandorea pandorana).  It was accepted as being distinct in 1987 and finally in 2008 it was accepted as a separate species and was given the scientific name Pandorea floribunda.  (See that entry in the Flora section on the Ipswich Misc. page.)

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Baiera ipsviciensis

Baiera ipsviciensis was a species of the genus Baiera, fossil gymnosperms (family Ginkgoaceae) that are known from the Triassic to the Lower Cretaceous and are considered by some palaeobotanists to be ancestors of the surviving ginkgoes.  The generic name Baiera was first applied in 1843 by the German palaeobotanist Carl F.W.Braun (1800-64), professor of natural sciences at Bayreuth in Bavaria.  The name was derived from the 12th century spelling of the city (Baierrute), and referred to a leaf that was found in the nearby Rhaeto-Liassic beds that was similar in general form to those of the Ginkgo, but was deeply divided into long, narrow, linear segments (“Beiträge zur Urgeschichte der Pfanzen” (Contributions to the early history of plants) Braun 1843).

Fossil leaves of Baiera were first recorded in Queensland in the Triassic (Ipswich Series) of Denmark Hill, by John Shirley in 1898 (“Queensland Geological Survey”, Bulletin 7).  They were further described by Arthur Bache Walkon in 1917 when later discoveries were made in shales of coal seams at Mihi Creek in North Ipswich, and also in the Redbank and Goodna areas,  (“Mesozoic Floras of Queensland, part I; Flora of the Ipswich & Walloon Series” Queensland Geological Survey, 1917).  Walkon recognised that the wedge-shaped leaves were similar to Ginkgo leaves, but differed in the greater number and smaller breadth of the segments, and he gave them the species name of Baiera ipsviciensis.  

Traditionally, palaeobotanists have recognised related fossil Ginkgo genera called Baiera and Ginkgoites (see Ginkgoites ipsviciensis, below).  The older Mesozoic flora indicate a world-wide spread of Baiera, whereas the Ginkgoites leaves appear later in the Jurassic period, reaching their peak towards the end of the Cretaceous.  Ginkgos were a common and widespread group for a very long time.  The major distinction between Ginkgoites and Baiera is that Ginkgoites is used for leaves with more than four veins per segment and Baiera for forms with fewer than four veins per segment.  However, many palaeobotanists have rejected this classification as too ill-defined.  Many believe that these characteristics are within the limits of intra-genus variation, and therefore these should all be classified as Ginkgoites.  The well-respected Swedish palaeobotanist Rudolph Florin was the first to transfer this species from Baiera to Ginkgoites in 1936 (“Die Fossilen Ginkgophytes von Franz-Joseph Land” Palaeontographica (1936)).

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Ginkgoites ipsviciensis

Ginkgoites is an extinct genus of plants belonging to the Ginkgoaceae family that was found world-wide during the Mesozoic Era (Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods), and first appeared in the Permian Era over 250 million years ago.  The only extant species today is the Ginkgo biloba (maidenhair tree) native to China.  The name ‘Ginkgo’ comes from the Chinese “duck feet” because of the shape of the leaves.  The Japanese characters to write the word transliterate into Roman script as “ginkyo”, but when the species became known to Europeans in the 17th century it was spelt incorrectly, and this spelling has remained.

British botanist, Albert Seward (1863-1941), Professor of Botany at Cambridge University, 1906 to 1936, coined the word Ginkgoites in 1911 and formally proposed it in 1919, since the leaves were very similar to those of Ginkgo biloba (“Fossil Plants, Vol. IV” Cambridge Biological Series (1919)).

As noted in the above entry, Rudolph Florin was the first to transfer Baiera ipsviciensis to Ginkgoites in 1936 (“Die Fossilen Ginkgophytes von Franz-Joseph Land” Palaeontographica (1936)), and to use the name Ginkgoites ipsviciensis.  The occurrence of fossil Ginkgo, including Ginkgoites and Baiera leaves, is so sporadic that the scientific community is still undecided about their specific identification and range of variation.

The scientific communities in Australia and New Zealand have accepted this new designation in place of Baiera ipsviciensis in their journals since 1947.

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Ficus ipswichii & Ficus ipswichiana

Ficus ipswichii & Ficus ipswichiana were two species of plants which flourished during the Cretaceous Period of the Mesozoic Era, 146-65 million years ago, coinciding with the age of the dinosaurs. Their fossil remains were discovered in the Ipswich Coal Measures of Queensland during the late nineteenth century & were first described by the Austrian botanist and palaeontologist Baron Constantin Von Ettingshausen (1826-97). They are listed in the Catalogue of the Mesozoic plants in the British museum (Natural history): The Cretaceous flora. However, neither the British Natural History Museum, nor the Queensland Museum can shed any further light on them. It is possible that they have since been found to be synonymous with another species & been reclassified.

Ficus is a genus of flora within the Moraceae family, with around 850 species extant today. They are more commonly known as figs or fig trees. If these two species of plants flourished during the Cretaceous Period, 146 to 65 million years ago, and were an early form of the genus, this would have certainly been noted by subsequent research since there are no unambiguous old fossils of Ficus.  The current molecular clock estimates indicate that the Ficus genus is at least 60 million years old, and possibly as old as 80 million years.  All 800 modern species of the fig tree need to be pollinated by just one or two species of fig wasp, and the fig wasp can only reproduce in fig flowers.  Thus fig wasps and fig trees are mutually dependent on each other. The oldest fossil fig wasp found in Australia has been dated to 34 million years.

It should also be noted that if the fossils were found in the Ipswich Coal Measures, then they would be far too old for the flowering plants that emerged during the Cretaceous, since modern radiometric dating techniques now place the Ipswich Coal Measures in the Carnian epoch of the Triassic period, 230 to 200 million years ago.   

It therefore appears most likely that the original classification was incorrect, and the specimens were one of the gymnosperms, the group of plants that includes conifers, cycads, and the ginkgo, the dominant flora of the late Triassic and early Cretaceous periods.

(See also Ipswich Basin, Australia page)

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Polypodiisporites ipsviciensis & Thymospora ipsviciensis (Verrucososporites  ipsviciensis)

These two plant species have been given the suffix “ipsviciensis” because of their association with Ipswich, Queensland.  In both cases they are extinct types of ferns known only from their fossil spores found in the Ipswich coal measures.  The names were given by Noel Jack de Jersey of the University of Queensland in 1964 (“Triassic Spores & Pollen Grains from the Bundamba Group” Geological Survey of Queensland, 1964).

The Bundamba Group comprises the depositional cycle of the Triassic to Jurassic periods, 250 to 210 millions year ago, on the Gondwana continent, and it reflects alluvial valley sedimentation in a consistently wet climate (see Ipswich Basin, Australia page).  Ferns grow best in warm to cool, very moist environments.  They are a good indicator of a wet climate.

Polypodiisporites ipsviciensis is a member of a widespread fossil spore belonging to the Leptosporangiate ferns which are the largest group of living ferns.  They comprise the subclass Polypodiidae (polypod ferns) and nearly all are epiphytes, i.e. they grow on other plants non-parasitically.

Thyospora ipsviciensis comes from an extinct species of tree fern.  It is scientifically described as a ‘marattialean monolete spore’.  Marattialean is an order of lower ferns coextensive with the family Marattiaceae, a primitive group of tropical ferns with a large, fleshy rhizome (the plant stem underground that produces roots).  During the Triassic these were very abundant and diverse, occupying swampy sites for long periods.  Under high magnification, spores can be categorised as either monolete spores or trilete spores.  In monolete spores, there is a single line on the spore indicating the axis on which the mother spore was split into four along a vertical axis.

Verrucososporites ipsviciensis is an earlier name for Thymospora ipsviciensis.  The genus prefix Verrucososporites was given in 1956 by Balme & Henelly, and the change of name to Thymospora was first applied in 1963 (L. R. Wilson) relating to fossil spores found in Carboniferous measures in Oklahoma.  The new name very quickly superseded the old one, no doubt for ease of spelling.  

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