Anna Kozłowska, Alfred Lenz, Michael Melchin
Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 54 (3), 423-434, (1 September 2009) https://doi.org/10.4202/app.2008.0022
KEYWORDS: Retiolitidae, Gothograptus, Neogothograptus, evolution, biostratigraphy, ocean currents, paleolatitude, late Wenlock, Ludlow, Silurian
Neogothograptus reticulatus sp. nov. from the upper Homerian Colonograptus praedeubeli Biozone, and N. thorsteinssoni and N. alatiformis from the Lobograptus progenitor Biozone, are described for the first time from three localities: borehole, Baltic erratic boulder of East European Platform and Holy Cross Mountains of Poland. N. reticulatus, presently the oldest known species of Neogothograptus, is also tentatively identified from upper Homerian strata of southeastern Australia. The two other species are previously known only from Arctic Canada, and possibly China. The morphology of the Neogothograptus reticulatus rhabdosome, its appendix, thecal profile, densely reticulated rhabdosome and genicular hoods suggest a close relationship to N. eximinassa from Colonograptus ludensis Biozone. N. reticulatus and N. eximinassa are most similar to Gothograptus nassa, the earliest-known retiolitid to appear immediately following the Cyrtograptus lundgreni extinction event. The biostratigraphic position of N. reticulatus suggests it might be considered as a potential ancestor to all younger (Ludlow) species of Neogothograptus. Cladistic analysis, however, provides no direct support for such an interpretation and, instead, suggests that Baculograptus batesi may be the ancestor. The occurrences of Neogothograptus, as well as G. nassa, from a number of Silurian terranes mostly from low paleolatitude regions, but also from high paleolatitudes, demonstrate their tolerance to a broad range of paleoenvironments.