Abstract

Álvaro et al. (2018) argued that at least six species of Acadoparadoxides described from the lower–middle Cambrian boundary interval successions in the Anti-Atlas of Morocco all belong to Acadoparadoxides mureroensis (Sdzuy, 1958), which was first described from the Iberian Chains, Spain. Their study is based entirely on a morphometric analysis, which ignores the stratigraphic occurrences of particular morphotypes, deformation-related compaction of individual sclerites and their original relief, and thus underestimates some of the earlier described differences between these species. Their synonymization of a number of named Acadoparadoxides species is based on the morphometric approach that they rely on to distinguish between a number of congeneric species. A morphometric approach as applied by Álvaro et al. will lead to an apparent synonymy based on sclerites of similar taxa. Thus, morphometric study must be complemented by an analysis of which morphologically distinctive sclerites (i.e. cranidia and pygidia) are stratigraphically associated, and evaluation of which measurements are more critical to distinguishing sclerites that may represent distinct taxa, and the recognition of related character sets. Apart from demonstrating problems in the conclusion of Álvaro et al., our more inclusive approach of morphologic and stratigraphic analysis works to reassert the diagnostic characters and differences between six earlier named species of Acadoparadoxides. Our conclusions also emphasize the taxonomic problems associated with the identification and morphological variation of A. mureroensis owing to tectonic deformation of its topotype material and to questionable taxonomic assignment of Acadoparadoxides specimens from the Iberian sections.

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