Abstract

The late Emsian middle Member of the Bissounel Formation (Montagne Noire, France) has yielded a highly diverse silicified trilobite fauna. Among the thousands of disarticulated sclerites discovered, two protaspid specimens were found that display morphological characteristics of planktonic larvae of calymenid trilobites. The presence of calymenid protaspides within a non-calymenid trilobite fauna is noted. The two specimens are very similar to the first planktonic larval stage of the Ordovician Flexicalymene senaria (Conrad, 1841), and are of comparable size. This indicates that, as in F. senaria, a second planktonic larval stage might have occurred in the ontogeny of this undetermined calymenid. Thus, some post-Ordovician calymenids might have retained the ancestral developmental strategy with a two-stage planktonic period. The discovery of these two protaspides constitutes the first evidence of a calymenid trilobite in the Devonian of the Montagne Noire.

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