Abstract

A new euarthropod with an uncommon morphology, Brachyaglaspis singularis gen. et sp. nov., is described from the Early Ordovician (middle Floian) Fezouata biota of Morocco. The presence of a pair of postventral plates, widely attached to each other and located under the posterior-most trunk tergite and the base of the tailspine, indicates a phylogenetic relationship with the enigmatic group Aglaspidida. The overall morphology of Brachyaglaspis most closely resembles that of the ‘Ordovician-type’ aglaspidids, more specifically the late Cambrian – Early Ordovician genus Tremaglaspis. However, the presence of a prominent cephalon and only six trunk tergites in the new genus deviates from the organization of all other known aglaspidid species, notably extending the known range of morphological disparity of the group. A taxonomic revision of this euarthropod group indicates that the most accurate name and authorship combination correspond to Aglaspidida Walcott, 1912.

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