The uppermost 5–15 m of the Douling Formation in the southern Hunan area, South China, yields a diverse fauna comprised of ammonoids, bivalves, and brachiopods. The brachiopods reported in this paper consist of 51 species in 34 genera and are dominated by the Lopingian (Late Permian) species associated with a few species persisting from the underlying Maokouan (Late Guadalupian). This fauna is of earliest Wuchiapingian in age as precisely constrained by the associated conodont Clarkina postbitteri postbitteri and the Guadalupian-type ammonoid fauna of the Roadoceras-Doulingoceras Zone in the brachiopod horizon. The discovery of the Lopingian species-dominated brachiopod fauna in the earliest Wuchiapingian in southern Hunan suggests a much less pronounced effect of the pre-Lopingian crisis (end-Guadalupian mass extinction) than the end-Changhsingian mass extinction in terms of brachiopods, a contemporaneous onset of the Lopingian recovery/radiation during the pre-Lopingian crisis period, and taxonomic selectivity of the pre-Lopingian crisis in terms of different fossil groups. New taxa are Echinauris doulingensis n. sp., Pararigbyella quadrilobata n. gen. and n. sp. and P. doulingensis n. gen. and n. sp.