A new species of Scolecopteris (Zenker) Millay from the uppermost Permian of Guizhou, southwestern China

H Xiao-Yuan, W Shi-Jun, Jason Hilton, Z Yi-Long

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Several isolated marattialean synangia and sporangia are reported from coal balls collected from Coal Seam No.1 (C605) in the uppermost Permian Wangjiazhai Formation in Guizhou Province, south-western China. The synangia are radially symmetrical with diameters between 0.8 and 1.2 mm and are 1.7 mm long, consisting of 3-4 elongate sporangia that are fused basally, free distally and possess a pointed apex. The outer-facing sporangial wall is 4-5 cells thick and conspicuously differentiated. Spores are trilete, have a granular ornamentation and are nearly round equatorially with a diameter of 55-60 mu m. Comparisons with other anatomically preserved Palaeozoic marattialean synangia from the Euramerican and Cathaysian floras permit their assignment to the genus of Scolecopteris (Zenker) Millay. In this species the thick, outer-facing sporangial walls and large trilete spores are features consistent with those of the Oliveri Group within Scolecopteris, a group that has previously been considered primitive within this genus. Distinctions from all other previously recognized species within the Oliveri Group lead to the creation of a new species, S. guizhouensis sp. nov. This species is the youngest of the reported species of Scolecopteris recognized from the Euramerican and Cathaysian floras, and provides important evidence on the organization of marattialean ferns from the Upper Permian strata of south China. (c) 2006 The Linnean Society of London, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-288
Number of pages10
JournalBotanical Journal of the Linnean Society
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2006


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