Acta Palaeontologica Polonica

Strophomenide and orthotetide Silurian brachiopods from the Baltic region, with particular reference to Lithuanian boreholes

Petras Musteikis and L. Robin M. Cocks

Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 49 (3), 2004: 455-482

Epeiric seas covered the east and west parts of the old craton of Baltica in the Silurian and brachiopods formed a major part of the benthic macrofauna throughout Silurian times (Llandovery to Pridoli). The orders Strophomenida and Orthotetida are conspicuous components of the brachiopod fauna, and thus the genera and species of the superfamilies Plectambonitoidea, Strophomenoidea, and Chilidiopsoidea, which occur in the Silurian of Baltica are reviewed and reidentified in turn, and their individual distributions are assessed within the numerous boreholes of the East Baltic, particularly Lithuania, and attributed to benthic assemblages. The commonest plectambonitoids are Eoplectodonta (Eoplectodonta) (6 species), Leangella (2 species), and Jonesea (2 species); rarer forms include Aegiria and Eoplectodonta (Ygerodiscus), for which the new species E. (Y.) bella is erected from the Lithuanian Wenlock. Eight strophomenoid families occur; the rare Leptaenoideidae only in Gotland (Leptaenoidea, Liljevallia). Strophomenidae are represented by Katastrophomena (4 species), and Pentlandina (2 species); Bellimurina (Cyphomenoidea) is only from Oslo and Gotland. Rafinesquinidae include widespread Leptaena (at least 11 species) and Lepidoleptaena (2 species) with Scamnomena and Crassitestella known only from Gotland and Oslo. In the Amphistrophiidae Amphistrophia is widespread, and Eoamphistrophia, Eocymostrophia, and Mesodouvillina are rare. In the Leptostrophiidae Mesoleptostrophia, Brachyprion, and Protomegastrophia are common, but Eomegastrophia, Eostropheodonta, Erinostrophia, and Palaeoleptostrophia are only recorded from the west in the Baltica Silurian. In the Eopholidostrophidae, Mesopholidostrophia is common and Eopholidostrophia rare, and within the Shaleriidae the genus Shaleria is revised and found to be the only genus within the family Shaleriidae and to contain three subgenera, S. (Shaleria), S. (Shaleriella) and S. (Janiomya). In the Strophonellidae Strophonella was widespread and Eostrophonella rare. Within the Orthotetoidea, Coolinia and Morinorhynchus (with the new Ludlow and Pridoli species M. rubeli from the Lithuanian boreholes erected) are common, and Fardenia, Saughina, and Valdaria again only known from the west Baltic. Most of the genera and many of the species reviewed were very widespread and many found in the adjacent Avalonia and Laurentia: a few were even more cosmopolitan.

Key words: Brachiopoda, Silurian, Lithuania, Baltic, Strophomenoidea, Plectambonitoidea, Orthotetoidea.

Petras Musteikis [], Department of Geology and Mineralogy, Vilnius State University, Ciurlionio 21/27, Vilnius, Lithuania LT 2009 (corresponding author); L. Robin M. Cocks [], Department of Palaeontology, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, U.K. SW7 5BD.

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