Abstract

The Notch Peak Formation (Late Cambrian, Sunwaptan) of western Utah yields diverse silicified trilobite faunas that provide new information on the anatomy of many taxa. The family Ptychaspididae Raymond, 1924, is represented by species of KeithiellaRasetti, 1944; IdiomesusRaymond, 1924; Euptychaspis Ulrich inBridge, 1931; and MacronodaLochman, 1964. At least four species are new, of which E. lawsonensis and M. notchpeakensis are named formally. Much previous work on Late Cambrian trilobites has emphasized biostratigraphic utility and the recognition of geographically widespread species. Data from new silicified collections indicate that this approach is difficult to justify because many putative ‘index species’ actually represent a plexus of closely related species whose biostratigraphic significance has yet to be determined. One such plexus is represented by E. kirkiKobayashi, 1935, whose previously reported occurrences in Texas, Oklahoma, Utah, Nevada and northern Canada record at least four distinct species. Similarly, Macronoda can now be shown to consist of at least five late Sunwaptan species in south-central and western North America.

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