Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 May 2016
Hystricurids are considered to constitute the earliest (early Ibexian or Tremadocian) family of Proetida, based on comparisons of hystricurid larvae with younger proetide and Cambrian ptychopariide larvae. The hystricurid larvae share a fusiform glabella falling short of the anterior margin with other proetide larvae, which were derived from Cambrian ptychopariide larvae with a forward-expanding glabella. Two discrete morphotypes of hystricurid larvae are recognized. The first type is characterized by the development of a pattern of regularly distributed tubercles on the shield and the presence of a preglabellar field. The second is characterized by the presence of glabellar furrows (discontinuous or transglabellar), an indented posterior margin, and a lack of tuberculation. Each of these hystricurid lineages represented by a distinct larval morphotype is considered ancestral (or sistergroup) to a different group of younger proetides. The second larval morphotype is considered a phylogenetic intermediate between the first type and ptychopariide larvae. Several larval features of these primitive proetides are considered to have originated by early onset of post-larval features of the ptychopariides (peramorphic pattern).
Newly described hystricurid species are Hystricurus n. sp. A, Hystricurus? sp. A, Hystricurus? sp. B, ‘Paraplethopeltis’ n. sp. A, ‘Paraplethopeltis’ sp. B, and Hyperbolochilus cf. marginauctum.