Abstract

The successful definition of chitinozoan genera depends primarily on the precision of the criteria used. A standardized morphological terminology based upon details from scanning electron microscope observations of the most representative taxa bearing these characters is therefore proposed. The 143 genera, or subgenera, described so far in the literature are reviewed in order to exclude invalid taxa and obvious junior synonyms. Particular attention is paid to preventing the overlap of generic definitions of the 56 genera ultimately retained. A brief account of the diagnostic features and stratigraphic range of selected genera is given, and basic information concerning the type material of these genera is listed. Finally, a suprageneric classification of the whole Chitinozoa group based on diagnostic features whose hierarchy is established on statistical and evolutionary grounds, is given. One new subfamily, Pogonochitininae, three new genera, Baltochitina, Hyalochitina, and Saharochitina, and a new species Baltochitina nolvaki, are defined. The sub-species Fungochitina fungiformis spinifera is elevated to a specific rank.

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