Abstract

A new species of ellimmichthyiform fish, represented by three specimens, has been recovered from deposits of the Akrabou Formation of Morocco. The new species is described in the existing genus Sorbinichthys, family Sorbinichthyidae, as Sorbinichthys africanus, sp. nov., closely related to the type species Sorbinichthys elusivo. The Ellimmichthyiformes is an extinct order of clupeomorph fishes that includes both freshwater and marine species ranging from the Early Cretaceous through the Eocene. Sorbinichthys elusivo is known from Cenomanian deposits of the eastern Mediterranean Tethys (Lebanon), whereas the new species is possibly early Turonian but more probably late Cenomanian in age, from the western Tethys (eastern Morocco). At lower taxonomic levels, the assemblage from the Akrabou Formation has a primarily Tethyan composition, exemplified by the genus Sorbinichthys, whereas supra-generic taxa found there include groups with trans-Atlantic (e.g., Sorbinichthyidae, Macrosemiidae) or near-cosmopolitan (e.g., Paraclupeidae) distributions.

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