Abstract

The cyrtospiriferid brachiopod genus Tenticospirifer Tien, 1938, is revised based on restudy of the type species from the Frasnian (Late Devonian) of the Russian Platform. As revised the genus includes cyrtospiriferid species with pyramidal ventral valves, catacline ventral interareas, a narrow delthyrium, few sinal plications, and lack a median dorsal septum and pseudodeltidium. All species retained in the genus are of Givetian and Frasnian age. All Famennian age species described from South China and North America are rejected from the genus. It appears that Tenticospirifer evolved during the early Givetian in western Europe and remained endemic to that region during the remainder of the Givetian. Successive migrations of Tenticospirifer from eastern Laurussia to North America, then to South China and possibly Australia, coincided with middle and late Frasnian eustatic sea level rises, respectively. The North American species Spirifera cyrtinaformis Hall and Whitfield, 1872, and related species identified as Tenticospirifer by North American workers, are reassigned to Conispirifer Lyashenko, 1985. Its immigration to and widespread dispersal in carbonate platforms of western Laurussia, northern Gondwana and tropical island arcs (?) coincided with a major late Frasnian eustatic sea level rise. The new family Conispiriferidae is proposed with Conispirifer Lyashenko, 1985, selected as the type genus. The new family also includes the new genus Pyramidaspirifer with Platyrachella alta Fenton and Fenton, 1924, proposed as the type species. The affinity of the new family remains uncertain pending restudy of key genera currently included in the Superfamily Cyrtospiriferoidea. Available data from the Devonian brachiopod literature indicate that species of Pyramidaspirifer are restricted to late Frasnian deposits of central and western North America.

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