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An enigmatic, solifuge-like fossil arachnid from the Lower Carboniferous of Kamienna Göra (Intra-Sudetic Basin), Poland

  • Jason A. Dunlop
  • Ronny Rössler
Article

Abstract

A new arachnid (Chelicerata: Arachnida) from the Lower Carboniferous (Upper Viséan) Szczawno Formation of Kamienna Göra, Poland, is described asSchneidarachne saganii n. gen. et n. sp. Early Carboniferous arachnids are generally rare and this new fossil cannot be easily assigned to any of the known arachnid Orders. It shares a number of features with some members of the arachnid order Solifugae (camel spiders, sun spiders): namely large, forward-projecting, chelate chelicerae with dentate fixed and free fingers, a distinct median sulcus on the carapace and an interrupted ridge of tubercles on the dorsal opisthosoma set into a loosely-defïned median field. However, it lacks unequivocal autapomorphies of Solifugae. This fossil may be one of a growing number of stem-group Palaeozoic arachnids which lack the füll set of diagnostic characters seen in crown-group members of the various orders. Thus,Schneidarachne saganii could represent a basai member of the lineage leading up to modem solifuges.

Keywords

Arachnida Solifugae systematics Lower Carboniferous Poland 

Kurzfassung

Ein neuer Arachnide aus dem Unterkarbon (oberes Visé) der Szczawno Formation von Kamienna Göra, Polen, wird alsSchneidarachne saganii n. gen. et n. sp. beschrieben. Arachniden aus dem frühen Karbon sind im allgemeinen sehr selten. Zudem kann das vorliegende neue Fossil nicht ohne weiteres in eine der bekannten Arachnidenordnungen eingereiht werden. Es zeigt eine Reihe von Merkmalen, die für Vertreter der Arachnidenordnung Solifugae (Walzenspinnen) charakteristisch sind: insbesondere große, ausladende zangenartige Cheliceren, gezähnte Scherenfinger, eine deutliche mediane Schwelle auf dem Carapax. Eine unterbrochene Schwelle von Tuberkeln bildet auf dem dorsalen Opisthosoma einen undeutlich umgrenzten mittleren Bereich. Eindeutige Autapomorphien der Solifugae fehlen jedoch. So dürfte das vorliegende Fossil zu einer wachsenden Anzahl von „stem-group“-Formen paläozoischer Arachniden gehören, denen das komplette Merkmalsmosaik fehlt, wie es die jeweiligen „crown-group“-Formen der einzelnen Ordnungen zeigen.Schneidarachne saganii könnte daher den basalen Vertreter einer Entwicklungsreihe repräsentieren, die zu den modernen Solifugae weist.

Schlüsselworter

Arachnida Solifugae Systematik Unterkarbon Polen 

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Copyright information

© E. Schweizerbart’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Systematische ZoologieMuseum für Naturkunde der Humboldt-Universität zu BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Museum für NaturkundeChemnitzGermany

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