Paläontologische Zeitschrift

, Volume 87, Issue 2, pp 219–234 | Cite as

Juvenile phacopid trilobites from the Prague Basin (Czech Republic)

  • Petr Budil
  • Catherine Crônier
  • Štěpán Manda
  • Oldřich Fatka
  • Lukáš Laibl
  • Arnaud Bignon
Research Paper


Complete early ontogenetic stages of phacopid trilobites are very rare in the fossil record worldwide. Although phacopid trilobites were a common component of the Devonian communities inhabiting the Prague Basin, only two articulated juvenile individuals have been described so far. However, rich and diverse fauna, including common remains of meraspid and young holaspid specimens of the phacopid Pedinopariops superstes superstes, has been found in the late Emsian Daleje Shale (Daleje-Třebotov Formation) at the Čeřinka Quarry near Bubovice. The rather unusual association of skeletal fauna in the Daleje Shale collected from the Čeřinka Quarry probably reflects the specific position of the locality, which corresponds to the transition from shale facies to carbonate facies. This newly described association contains common molted young holaspids, one entire meraspid specimen, and one poorly preserved but entire late meraspid–early holaspid specimen. The young individuals of P. superstes superstes strongly resemble the ancestral Pedinopariops degener; with the exception of their smaller eyes, they are somewhat reminiscent of the coarsely tuberculated descendent Pedinopariops superstes superior. The principal differences between the early stages of P. superstes superstes and the adult specimens include the relatively coarse tuberculation of the dorsal exoskeleton, which is more strongly vaulted and shows a less advanced level of eye development in young specimens. However, co-occurring adult specimens appear to be typical P. superstes. Here, the newly collected material is supplemented with a description of two as yet unreported remains of juvenile Pedinopariops superstes from other localities, and one well preserved specimen of an entire meraspid of Reedops cf. bronni, as well as a detailed discussion of the two previously described specimens of Pedinopariops insequens and Prokops hoeninghausi. Possible causes of an obvious paucity of articulated meraspid and young holaspid specimens when compared with adult and subadult ontogenetic stages in phacopid trilobites are discussed.


Trilobita Phacopida Lower Devonian Prague Basin Barrandian area 


Vollständige frühontogenetische Entwicklungsstadien der phacopiden Trilobiten hinterließen weltweit sehr wenige fossile Reste. Obwohl die phacopiden Trilobiten ein häufiger Bestandteil der devonischen Assoziationen des Prager Beckens sind, wurden bisher nur zwei artikulierte juveniele Exemplare beschrieben. Die reiche und vielfältige Fauna, einschließlich der häufig vorkommenden Überreste der meraspiden und frühholaspiden Individuuen des Phacopides Pedinopariops superstes, wurde im Daleje Schiefer (Daleje-Třebotov Formation) des spät Emsiums in dem Steinbruch Čeřinka in der Nähe von Bubovice gefunden. Die relativ spezifische Assoziazion der skeletalen Fauna die im Steinbruch Čeřinka gefunden wurde, wiederspiegelt höchstwahrscheinlich die spezifische Lage der Lokalität, welche dem Übergang von schiefer Facies in kalkstein Facies entspricht. Die neulich beschriebene Assoziazion enthält häufig vorkommende junge Holaspiden, einen vollständigen Meraspiden und einen schlecht erhaltenen aber vollständigen spät meraspid- jung holaspid Exemplar. Bis auf die kleinen Augen, ähneln die jungen Individuen des P. superstes superstes, dem ancestralen P. degener sehr, ausserdem ähneln sie teilweise durch die grob tuberculare Oberfläche dem descendent P. superstes superior. Die wichtigsten Unterschiede zwischen frühen Stadien des P. superstes superstes und erwachsenem Individuen besteht in relativ grobe Tuberkeln auf dem stärker gewölbten dorsalen Exoskeleton und kleinerem Augen in jungen Exemplaren. Die gemeinsam vorkommenden reifen Individuen stimmen der Diagnose den typischen P. superstes zu. Das neulich gesammeltes Material ist mit zwei, bis jetzt nicht publizierten Resten des Pedinopariops superstes ergänzt, die aus anderen Fundstellen kommen, einem gut erhaltenem vollständigen Meraspiden von Reedops cf. bronni, sowie durch detailierte Diskussion der zwei schon früher beschribenen stadien von Pedinopariops insequens und Prokops hoeninghausi. Die möglichen Gründe für das Nichtvorhandensein der artikulierten Individuen der Meraspiden und Frühholaspiden von phacopiden Trilobiten werden diskutiert und verglichen.


Trilobita Phacopida Unteres Devon Prager Becken Barrandium 



We would like to express our deep thanks to the staff of the Paleontological Department of the National Museum, Prague, namely to V. Turek and M. Valent for their generous help in tracing and photographing the specimens, which extended far beyond their curatorial responsibilities. We are very thankful to L. Ferrová, J. Frýda (both of the Czech Geological Survey, Prague), and P. Lukeš (Prague) for discussions about the geology and stratigraphy of the Čeřinka Quarry near Bubovice. We also thank Euan N.K. Clarkson (University of Edinburgh) for his helpful review and the linguistic improvements he made to our text. The study was supported by a grant from the Contact Mobility—Barrande Program (Project No. MEB 021122—PHC Barrande 24465SH), by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (Project No. P210/12/2018), and by the Grant Agency of Charles University (GAUK, Project No. 656912), respectively.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Petr Budil
    • 1
    • 2
  • Catherine Crônier
    • 3
  • Štěpán Manda
    • 1
  • Oldřich Fatka
    • 4
  • Lukáš Laibl
    • 4
  • Arnaud Bignon
    • 3
  1. 1.Czech Geological SurveyPraha 1Czech Republic
  2. 2.Faculty of Environmental ScienceCzech University of Life SciencesPrague 6, SuchdolCzech Republic
  3. 3.Université Lille 1, UFR Sciences TerreVilleneuve d’Ascq, CedexFrance
  4. 4.Faculty of Science, Institute of Geology and PalaeontologyCharles UniversityPraha 2Czech Republic

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