Abstract

Upper Changhsingian strata occur as isolated outcrops in the Malaya Laba and Belaya river basins in the Peredovoy Range of the northwestern Caucasus Mountains and include shelfal limestone, reefal and biohermal buildups, and terrigenous clastics, here placed in the Belalabinskaya Group. These lithofacies contain a varied and rich assemblage of brachiopods, bivalves, ammonoids, inozoan sponges, and algae. This biota is Late Changhsingian in age and correlates with similar biotas described in south China, the Pamir Mountains, South Primorye in far eastern Russia, and Transcaucasia. The brachiopod genera and biotic assemblages are very similar to those of the Cathaysian Subprovince of the Tethyan Province. Two new families, Labaellidae and Licharewiconchidae; four new genera, Labaella, Licharewiconcha, Tethysiella, and Nikitinia; a new diagnosis of Caucasoproductus; and four new species of brachiopods, Rhipidomella caucasica, Cathaysia caucasica, Nikitinia licharewi, and Licharewina praetriassica, are described. One new genus and species of ammonoid, Neoglassoceras caucasicus, and one new species of bivalve, Claraioides labensis, are described.

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