Abstract

Deltaplax new genus, Deltaplax burdicki new species, and Deltaplax dellangeloi new species (Mollusca, Polyplacophora, Neoloricata, Multiplacophora) from the Mississippian Lower Buffalo Wallow Group (Chesterian) of Indiana, USA are described. The new genus is established by one partially articulated and one associated specimen with marginal fringes of two types of large spines, bilaterally symmetrical head and tail valves, and fifteen medial valves arranged in three longitudinal columns similar to those described previously for other multiplacophorans. The two specimens represent separate species differentiated by morphologies of the auxiliary valves, one type of spine, and subtrapezoidal versus triangular tail valves. The tail valve of the articulated specimen also had sutural laminae that projected under the preceding intermediate valve. The presence of sutural laminae allows for placement of multiplacophorans in Subclass Neoloricata of Class Polyplacophora. The head, intermediate, and tail valves are mucronate with comarginal growth lines and ridged insertion plates that probably inserted into soft tissue comparable to the girdle of modern polyplacophorans. The new specimens also indicate one left-handed, one auxiliary, and one right-handed valve in multiplacophorans was equivalent to a single bilaterally-symmetrical intermediate valve of extant polyplacophorans. However, multiplacophoran head valves have plates that project from the lower layer at the lateral margins and articulate with the first intermediate valves that overlap the head and second intermediate valves. These features have not been observed in more typical neoloricates, fossil or modern. Pending systematic revision of the class, Multiplacophora thus is retained as a separate order distinguished by the unique shared characters.

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