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Reassessing Devonotarbus, a phalangiotarbid arachnid from the Lower Devonian (Siegenian and Emsian) of the Rheinisches Schiefergebirge (SW Germany)

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Abstract

Seven further specimens of the hitherto only known Devonian phalangiotarbid Devonotarbus Poschmann, Anderson and Dunlop, 2005 are described. Thus, the genus is recorded from four different localities of Siegenian (Hombach and Burglahr) and Lower Emsian (Willwerath and Alken) age, respectively, but the specific identity of Siegenian and Emsian specimens remains unproven. The new material suggests that this Devonian phalangiotarbid possessed more than six eye lenses, tergites five and six fused into a diplotergite, and an almost terminally situated anal operculum. It thus notably deviates morphologically from its younger Permocarboniferous relatives, and a new family, Devonotarbidae nov. fam., is proposed to accommodate Devonotarbus.

Kurzfassung

Anhand von sieben Neufunden wird der bislang einzige devonische Phalangiotarbide Devonotarbus Poschmann, Anderson and Dunlop, 2005 neu beschrieben. Die Gattung ist demnach an vier Fundpunkten aus dem Siegenium (Hombach and Burglahr) und Unter-Emsium (Willwerath and Alken) des Rheinischen Schiefergebirges nachgewiesen. Ob die unterschiedlich alten Funde ein und derselben Art angehören bleibt dabei offen. Das neue Material lässt darauf schließen, dass sich Devonotarbus durch das Vorhandensein von mehr als sechs Einzelaugen, zu einem Diplotergiten verschmolzene Tergite fünf und sechs, und ein annähernd terminal gelegenes Analoperculum auszeichnet. Damit unterscheidet er sich in morphologischer Hinsicht deutlich von jüngeren Verwandten aus dem Permokarbon und eine neue Familie, Devonotarbidae nov. fam., wird vorgeschlagen.

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Acknowledgments

Many thanks are due to Werner Heydrich (Cologne) and Ralph Seibert (Ransbach-Baumbach) for the loan of material from their private collections, and to Erich Braun (Mechernich-Harzheim) for putting his specimen at M.P.’s disposal. Furthermore, we thank Rolf Goßmann (Bonn) for enlightening discussions on early land plants and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.

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Poschmann, M., Dunlop, J.A. Reassessing Devonotarbus, a phalangiotarbid arachnid from the Lower Devonian (Siegenian and Emsian) of the Rheinisches Schiefergebirge (SW Germany). Paläontol Z 86, 377–387 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12542-012-0138-0

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