Bivalves have pursued an infaunal lifestyle since early in their history. Trace fossils that have been attributed to the infaunal activity of bivalves include Hillichnus, Lockeia (=Pelecypodichnus), Lophoctenium, Protovirgularia, Ptychoplasma, Siphonichnus and Scalichnus. Re-evaluation of the ichnogenera Siphonichnus and Scalichnus supports consolidation into a single ichnogenus, Siphonichnus, which has taxonomic precedence.
Siphonichnus, as redefined herein, presently includes four ichnospecies. Siphonichnus eccaensis Stanistreet et al. is an unlined vertical tube characterized by concave downward laminae penetrated by a single central shaft and is interpreted to reflect downward burrowing in response to net erosion during the life span of the animal. Siphonichnus phiale (Hanken et al., 2001) is characterized by concave upwards laminae and reflects equilibrichnial behavior by the tracemaker. Siphonichnus lepusaures n. isp. is characterized by concave upwards laminae with a pair of vertically oriented, unlined tubes at the top and is interpreted as the dwelling trace of a bivalve with paired siphons responding to sediment aggradation. Siphonichnus sursumdeorsum n. isp. is characterized by concave upwards laminae in its basal third and convex upwards laminae in its upper third and is interpreted as the dwelling trace of a bivalve exhibiting equilibrichnial behavior in a dynamic depositional setting. Consolidation of these ichnotaxa into a single ichnogenus simplifies the ichnotaxonomy and provides a means of assessing the sedimentological significance of bivalve-generated dwelling/equilibrium/escape structures.