The latest Ordovician to earliest Silurian graptolite Avitograptus avitus is important in the biostratigraphy of the Ordovician–Silurian boundary interval. Two additional species of Avitograptus are described from the sponge-dominated Anji Biota of the Upper Ordovician Wenchang Formation (Metabolograptus persculptus Biozone) of Zhejiang Province, South China. One species, Avitograptus akidomorphus new species, is new; the other, Avitograptus acanthocystus new combination, which was previously placed in Climacograptus, is herein assigned to Avitograptus. The former species may represent the ancestral akidograptid because it is identical in thecal form to Akidograptus, but differs in the development of the proximal end. The evolutionary changes from Avitograptus avitus to Akidograptus and Parakidograptus involved distal movement of the origins of th11 and th12, thecal elongation, and greater outward inclination of the thecal walls.
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Vol. 94 • No. 5