Abstract

The Mysidiellidae are morphologically isolated among Triassic bivalves but share important characters with Late Paleozoic Ambonychioidea. Apart from a great similarity in the general shape of the shell, the most primitive mysidiellid genus Promysidiella resembles ambonychioids in the presence of a duplivincular-opisthodetic ligament system. Within the Mysidiellidae, this ligament type evolved into the transitional ligament system that characterizes Late Triassic Mysidiella. The phyletic polarity indicates that this evolution probably took place by paedomorphosis. New examinations of the shell microstructure of Mysidiella demonstrate the presence of simple prismatic and possibly foliated structures in the calcitic outer shell layer, which further supports an ambonychioid affinity. Therefore, the Mysidiellidae are removed from the Mytiloidea and assigned to the Ambonychioidea. The poorly known genus Protopis, which was originally included in the Mysidiellidae, probably had a parivincular ligament system and was hence a member of the Heteroconchia. Joannina, which was previously considered a junior synonym of Protopis, is re-established. The hinge margin of Joannina carries a well developed nymph but lacks teeth. These characters as well as its modioliform shape, anterior shell lobe, and pronounced diagonal carina link Joannina with the Late Triassic genus Healeya (Modiomorphoidea). Both taxa are herein placed in the new family Healeyidae, which differs from the morphologically similar Kalenteridae in the absence of elaborated hinge teeth. Protopis, as well as the recently described genera Leidapoconcha, Waijiaoella, and Qingyaniola, are tentatively assigned to the Healeyidae.

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