A revision of the lower Pennsylvanian Alethopteris lonchitica (auctorum) and its identity with Alethopteris urophylla


One of the most common lower Pennsylvanian (upper Namurian, lower Westphalian) pteridosperms is a species commonly recorded as Alethopteris lonchitica Schlotheim, 1820 ex Sternberg, 1825. However, the photographic illustration of the lectotype of Alethopteris lonchitica by Zodrow & Cleal (1998) has allowed a clear distinction from Alethopteris lonchitica (auctorum) which corresponds, in the main, to Alethopteris urophylla (Brongniart, 1834) Göppert, 1836. This species is redescribed here, and its holotype is illustrated photographically for the first time. The published records, backed up by illustration, are analysed with reference to lists of synonymy. The geographic and stratigraphic distribution of Alethopteris urophylla is discussed, and illustrations of this species are provided from Nova Scotia, Scotland, England, Wales, the North of France, and NW as well as SW Spain. Alethopteris lonchitica was identified with Alethopteris lonchitifolia Bertrand, 1932 by Zodrow and Cleal, but the present writers prefer an identification with Alethopteris friedelii Bertrand, 1932. The corresponding taxonomic implications are discussed.

Palabras clave

Systematic palaeobotany, Alethopteris, lower Pennsylvanian, Canada, Scotland, England, Wales, France, Spain

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