Dictyodora occurs in the Hauptquarzit (Late Ordovician; D. zimmermanni) and Bordenschiefer (Early Carboniferous; D. liebeana) of Thuringia, East Germany. It is absent in the Early Devonian Nereitenquarzit, and analysis of the trace fossil assemblages points to environmental partitioning within the ‘deep-sea’Nereites Association. The Carboniferous Dictyodora was much larger than the Early Palaeozoic forms and had a long respiratory (?) wall organ. This may have been an adaptation to feeding deeper in anoxic sediments, and the animal developed large ‘parapodia’ to effect its progression through the sediment.