Paläontologische Zeitschrift

, Volume 89, Issue 3, pp 435–447 | Cite as

A new pufferfish (Teleostei, Tetraodontidae) from the Middle Miocene of St. Margarethen, Austria

  • Giorgio CarnevaleEmail author
  • James C. Tyler
Research Paper


Articulated skeletal remains of tetraodontid pufferfishes are rather rare in the fossil record. To date, the only known relatively entire fossil pufferfishes are the few specimens belonging to the extinct genera Eotetraodon and Archaeotetraodon, from the Eocene and Oligo-Miocene, respectively. A new genus and species of tetraodontid pufferfish, Leithaodon sandroi gen. et sp. nov., is described herein from the Middle Miocene fish-bearing corallinacean limestone of St. Margarethen, Burgenland, eastern Austria. This new taxon is based on a single, nearly complete specimen that exhibits a unique combination of features (sphenotic articulating with the supraoccipital, lateral ethmoid in contact with the palatine, anal fin origin slightly behind the posterior end of the dorsal fin base, 11(12) dorsal fin pterygiophores, but only six anal fin pterygiophores, and slender elongate ventral postcleithrum) that distinguish it from all other tetraodontids, fossil and extant. The paleoecology of this new taxon also is discussed.


Teleostei Tetraodontiformes Tetraodontidae Leithaodon sandroi gen. et sp. nov. Middle Miocene Late Badenian St. Margarethen Austria 


Artikulierte Skelettreste fossiler Kugelfische (Tetraodontidae) sind sehr selten. Die einzigen bisher bekannten und verhältnismäßig vollständigen fossilen Kugelfische gehören den fossilen Gattungen Eotetraodon und Archaeotetraodon an, erstere sind aus dem Eozän, letztere aus dem Oligo-Miozän bekannt. In der vorliegenden Studie wird eine neue Gattung und Art der tetraodontiden Kugelfische, Leithaodon sandroi gen. et sp. nov., aus dem mittelmiozänen Leithakalk von St. Margarethen, Burgenland (Österreich) beschrieben. Leithaodon sandroi gen. et sp. nov. basiert auf einem einzigen Exemplar, welches nahezu vollständig erhalten ist. Aufgrund seiner speziellen Kombination von Merkmalen (Sphenotic mit Supraoccipitale artikuliert, laterales Ethmoid im Kontakt mit dem Palatinum, Insertion der Analflosse etwas hinter dem hinteren Ende der Basis der Dorsalflosse, 11(12) Pterygiophoren der Dorsalflosse, sechs Pterygiophoren der Analflosse, schlankes längliches ventrales Postcleithrum) kann das neue Taxon von allen anderen fossilen und rezenten Vertretern der Tetraodontidae unterschieden werden. Die Paläoökologie der neuen Gattung und Art wird diskutiert.


Teleostei Tetraodontiformes Tetraodontidae Leithaodon sandroi gen. et sp. nov. Mittel-Miozän Spätes Badenium St. Margarethen Österreich 



We are particularly grateful to Mathias Harzhauser, Ortwin Schultz, and Thomas Nichterl (all at NHMW), Chiara Sorbini (MSNUP), Alexandre F. Bannikov (PIN), Erminio Di Carlo (MGPA), Daniele Ormezzano (MRSN), Roberto Zorzin and Anna Vaccari (MCSNV), Mariagabriella Fornasiero and Letizia Del Favero (MGPUP), and Monette Veran and Daniel Goujet (MNHN) for permission to examine fossil material under their care and for their logistical support. Thanks are also due Marco Pavia and Simone Colombero (Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università degli Studi di Torino) for the photographs of the fossils, and to Bettina Reichenbacher (Department für Geo- und Umweltwissendschaften, Ludwig-Maximilians Universität, München) for the translation of the abstract into German. At the Smithsonian Institution (USNM), we thank Sandra Raredon for the large and excellent array of radiographs of extant tetraodontids that were so useful to our research, and Lisa Palmer and Vincent Lyles for help with the loan and transport of comparative materials. We also thank Andrew Stewart (NMNZ) and Mark McGrouther and Sally Reader (AMS) for radiographs of, respectively, Javichthys and Reicheltia. The manuscript benefited from several reviews by Diane M. Tyler, Silver Spring, Maryland. Alexandre F. Bannikov and Francesco Santini (Department of Evolution and Ecology, University of California, Davis) provided valuable critical reviews of this manuscript. This work was supported by grants (ex-60 % 2012) to the senior author from the Università degli Studi di Torino.


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© Paläontologische Gesellschaft 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze della TerraUniversità degli Studi di TorinoTorinoItaly
  2. 2.National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian InstitutionWashington, D.C.USA

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