Abstract

Normalograptus kufraensis sp. nov. occurs as monospecific assemblages in the Tanezzuft Formation at the western margin of the Kufra Basin (Jabal Eghei), southern Libya. These graptolites have parallel-sided rhabdosomes with long, straight virgellae, climacograptid thecae and a full straight median septum. N. kufraensis is intermediate between Ordovician graptolites from the N. angustus (Perner) lineage and the younger sister species N. ajjeri (Legrand) and N. arrikini Legrand. N. kufraensis differs from these taxa as follows: it is broader than N. angustus; it has greater thecal spacing than N. ajjeri or N. arrikini. A table comparing measurements of N. kufraensis with 44 other Normalograptus taxa differentiates it from other members of this morphologically conservative group. Even though N. angustus and N. ajjeri are very long-ranging graptolites, a stratophenetic approach suggests that the specimens from Jabal Eghei may be of late Hirnantian or younger age. The faunal composition and preservation suggests these graptolites occupied the ‘cratonic invader’ biotope. The stratigraphic succession records deglacial flooding and fluctuating of redox in the Tanezzuft Formation, with the graptolites indicating a short-lived interval of anoxia.

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