Published online by Cambridge University Press: 13 August 2007
Biostratigraphical ranges and palaeogeographical distribution of mid-Givetian to end-Frasnian odontopleurids are investigated. The discovery of Leonaspis rhenohercynica sp. nov. in mid-Givetian strata extends this genus unexpectedly up to the late Middle Devonian. New material of Radiaspis radiata (Goldfuss, 1843) and the first koneprusiine in Britain, Koneprusia? sp., are described from the famous Lummaton shell-bed, Torquay, Devon. New taxa of Koneprusia, K. serrensis, K. aboussalamae, K. brevispina, and K. sp. A and K. sp. B are defined. Ceratocephala (Leonaspis) harborti Richter & Richter, 1926, is revised and reassigned to Gondwanaspis Feist, 2002. Two new species of Gondwanaspis, G. dracula and G. spinosa, plus three others left in open nomenclature, are described from the late Frasnian of Western Australia. A further species of Gondwanaspis, G. prisca, is described from the early Frasnian of Montagne Noire. Species of Gondwanaspis are shown to possess a number of paedomorphic features. A functional analysis suggests that, unlike other odontopleurids, Gondwanaspis actively fed and rested with the same cephalic orientation. The sole odontopleurid survivors of the severe terminal mid-Givetian biocrisis (‘Taghanic Event’) belong to the koneprusiine Koneprusia in the late Givetian and Frasnian, and, of cryptogenic origin, the acidaspidine Gondwanaspis in the Frasnian. Whereas the former became extinct in the late Frasnian at the Lower Kellwasser Event, the latter disappeared, and with it the entire Odontopleuroidea, at the terminal Frasnian Upper Kellwasser global biocrisis.