Abstract

No trilobite species, and very few genera, pass from the Lower (Ibexian) into the Middle Ordovician (Whiterockian), which is a turning point in Laurentian trilobite history. Trilobites from three sections exposing the base of the Whiterock Series (basal) Middle Ordovician) in Nevada are described and illustrated. They are attributable to different, and generally more open-shelf, biofacies from the Bathyurid biofacies trilobites described from the Ibex area, Utah, by Fortey and Droser (1996), but include species in common, which allow correlation into the Ibexian type section. At Little Rawhide Mountain the basal Middle Ordovician is developed in Olenid biofacies, described for the first time in western North America from rocks of this age. Correlation based on species-level similarity shows that the "spike" that has been used to define the type base of the Whiterockian (and hence the Middle Ordovician) at Whiterock Canyon is at a level younger than the base of the Whiterockian assumed in recent discussions of its international correlation. The type Whiterock base correlates with the Psephosthenaspis glabrior trilobite Subzone at Ibex, well above the major change in trilobite faunas at the base of the Psephosthenaspis Zone (P. microspinosa Subzone). In all study sections there is an abrupt change of facies after trilobite Zone J, possibly associated with regression. Four new species are described: Cloacaspis tesselata, Harpillaenus rossi, Acidiphorus? lineotuberculatus, and Benthamaspis serus.

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