Abstract

Restudy of two Early Silurian (Aeronian) stricklandioid species, Stricklandinia transversaGrabau, 1925 and Stricklandiella robustaRong and Yang, 1981 from the Yichang area of South China, leads to the recognition of two new genera, Sinokulumbella and Sinostricklandiella. Two types of spondylia and four types of cardinalia are recognized for the Stricklandioidea and can be used for classification of the superfamily at the generic or even familial level. On the basis of these characters, five groups (typified by Stricklandia, Stricklandiella, Kulumbella, Microcardinalia, and Aenigmastrophia) can be recognized within the superfamily. Sinokulumbella n. gen., with a small, shallow, bowl-shaped spondylium and a pair of outer hinge plates that are discrete from the crura, is regarded to be affiliated with the Kulumbella group. Sinostricklandiella n. gen. has superimposed plicae and costae, although its internal structures are similar to the Stricklandiella group. A revised classification of stricklandioids implies that the Chinese pentamerides were characterized by strong provincialism during the early and middle Llandovery. This interpretation is supported further by the complete lack of true Stricklandia and Microcardinalia lineages in South China. Different stocks of stricklandioids in Baltica, Laurentia, South China, Siberia, and Kazakhstan may have experienced allopatric evolution, punctuated by several pulses of faunal migration or exchange between these paleoplates during the Llandovery. Evolution of the Stricklandia lineage is significantly different from that of Kulumbella and Sinokulumbella, particularly in that the outer plates disappeared earlier in the kulumbellids than in the stricklandiids.

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