"Born on July 15, 1950, Patrick Catto is the son of a veterinarian based in Andouillé (Mayenne). He owes his passion, started in 1962, to a" priest "of the Lycée L'Immaculée Conception in Laval. His first fossils were , among others, pygidiums of Ordovician trilobites that are now reported to Asaphidae Nobiliasaphus nobilis (Barrande 1846); 12-year-old Patrick thought he had found butterflies because of a vague resemblance (!) with the lepidoptera. To search for fossils, Patrick explores the surroundings of Andouillé by bicycle, as well as the limestones of the Lower Devonian (Formation of Saint-Cénéré of the Upper Lochkovian-Lower Praguian) of La Roussière (Saint_Germain-le- Fouilloux), where an old open quarry had been used to supply lime kilns.

Later, he meets Serge Coulange (two years older than him). In the mid-1960s, the latter rediscovered the deposit of La Touche d'Andouillé where Daniel Oehlert [1849-1920] uncovered trilobites at the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the following.

With his brother, Jean-Pierre, Patrick and Serge regularly explore this site. Patrick remembers that finding "acceptable" trilobites (more or less complete) was not so easy; it took patience to get out 1 or 2 a day (and not 20!). Here they make beautiful discoveries of Marrolithus, Selenopeltis, Asaphes "... but no new taxa.

In 1970 Patrick made his first trip to Morocco which became his second "homeland". He made the long road in "2 CV", direction Erfoud and the South-East of the country for a stay of one month. At that time, all trilos were called "phacos"; in fact, there were only "calymenes" from the Ordovician of Alnif and some other small trilobites. With Bernard Hogrel, his traveling companion, Patrick visits Issimour and its "Phacops mountain", which has since become essential for Devilian trilobites. They mainly find "beasts" from the Praguian (lower Devonian): Crotalocephalus, Odontochile, "asteropyges" ... including the first cephalon from Psychopyge.

In 1974, during another trip, Patrick brought back another Psychopyge (found in the Tafilalet) which was later described by Pierre Morzadec of the University of Rennes 1; at the time, it was attributed to P.elegans Termier & Termier 1950 but, since then, it is considered to be P.termierorum Morzadec 2001.

For a long time, Patrick has been a disinterested supplier of trilobites for academics specializing in these arthropods, such as Jean-Louis Henry and Pierre Morzadec from the University of Rennes 1, which has sometimes led to the description of new taxa ... from Brittany and Morocco; in recognition, Morzadec, in 2001, dedicated a new species of Ateropyginae, Mrakibina cattoi, from the El Otfal Formation (Eifelian, Middle Devonian) to Mrakib, Morocco). Several holotypes of trilobites given to Morzadec by Patrick are today deposited in the collections of the Museum of Natural History of Nantes.

Tireless surveyor of the Breton Paleozoic, Patrick Catto also visited other countries to find trilobites such as Portugal, Wales, Bohemia. As for Morocco, this country remains a regular destination because, for more than forty years, it goes 2 to 3 times a year in Tafilalet where it is known as the Elder (the "chibani" for Moroccans, as we have noticed during a trip undertaken with patrick on the high places of Moroccan paleontology).

During his numerous excavation campaigns, Patrick collected a number of samples, some of which are today the joy of very many collectors because Patrick has become, for several years, a renowned trader in fossils ... "


By Patrice Lebrun, Philippe Courville, Damien Gendry ... and Co in the French paleontology review FOSSILES special issue VII of 2016 "Trilobites of the Ordovician of Brittany (and associated fauna)".