Sphenacodontia is a stem-based clade of derived synapsids. It was defined by Amson and Laurin (2011) as "the largest clade that includes Haptodus baylei, Haptodus garnettensis and Sphenacodon ferox, but not Edaphosaurus pogonias". They first appear during the Late Pennsylvanian epoch.
Basal Sphenacodontia constitute a transitional evolutionary series from early pelycosaurs to ancestral therapsids (which in turn were the ancestors of more advanced forms and finally the mammals). One might say that the Sphenacodontians are proto-therapsids.