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New lower Permian nonmarine arthropod trace fossils from New Mexico and South Africa

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 July 2015

Simon J. Braddy
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Wills Memorial Building, Queen's Road, Bristol, BS8 1RJ, United Kingdom.
Derek E. G. Briggs
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Wills Memorial Building, Queen's Road, Bristol, BS8 1RJ, United Kingdom.


The Lower Permian (Late Wolfcampian) marginal marine facies of the Robledo Mountains Member (Hueco Formation) of the Robledo Mountains, New Mexico, contains a diverse ichnofauna dominated by vertebrate trackways. Four new arthropod ichnotaxa are described. Tonganoxichnus robledoensis new ichnospecies, consists of repeated small traces comprising imprints of anteriorly directed legs, an elongate tapering abdomen, and a thin tail. Hedriumichnus apacheensis new ichnogenus and ichnospecies consists of isolated small traces comprising imprints of laterally-directed legs, a broad tapering abdomen, and a short tail. Rotterodichnium major new ichnospecies is a large trace with imprints of the head and thorax, a long thin abdomen and three pairs of legs, increasing in length posteriorly. Quadrispinichna parvia new ichnogenus and ichnospecies consists of four diverging or sub-parallel linear or curvilinear imprints of approximately equal length.

Tonganoxichnus, previously known from the Upper Carboniferous of eastern Kansas, is interpreted as produced by a jumping monuran (an extinct group of wingless insects). Hedriumichnus, known only from the Robledo Mountains, is interpreted as the resting trace of a nymph of a primitive Ephemeroptera or Plecoptera. Rotterodichnium, previously known from the Lower Permian of Germany, is interpreted as the resting trace of a large dragonfly-like form (Protodonata, Odonata, or Megasecoptera). Quadrispinichna, previously recorded but not named, from the Lower Permian Ecca succession of South Africa, is interpreted as a resting trace of a crustacean. These rare traces increase our understanding of the diversity and behavior of nonmarine arthropod communities in the Lower Permian.

Research Article
Copyright © The Paleontological Society

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