The mollusc Watsonella crosbyi was studied on the basis of material from the lower Cambrian Dahai Member of the Zhujiaqing Formation in eastern Yunnan, China and the Pestrotsvet Formation of the Aldan River region in the Siberian Platform. This fossil had been excessively described under different names in the literature, such as Heraultia varensalensis Cobbold, 1935, H. sibirica Missarzhevsky, 1974, Heraultipegma yunnanensis He and Yang, 1982, H. yannanese He and Yang, 1982, Watsonella yunnanensis, W. crosbyi Grabau, 1900, etc. Taxonomic revision shows that other species are junior synonyms of W. crosbyi. Analysis of functional morphology implies that W. crosbyi may be rather a helcionelloid than a rostroconch since its univalved conch is untorted endogastric and lacks a rostrum and a true internal pegma. Replicas of the original microstructures preserved on the surfaces of phosphatic internal moulds confirm that the shell consists of two layers. The inner layer is lamello-fibrillar, and the outer layer is spherulitic prismatic. The widespread geographical occurrences in both siliciclastic and carbonate rocks of the late Terreneuvian indicate that W. crosbyi is an important index fossil for global correlations and subdivision of the Cambrian Series 1 (Terreneuvian). The first appearance datum (FAD) of W. crosbyi is suggested to be a potential GSSP (Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point) candidate marker for defining the base of the Cambrian Stage 2.