New Trilobite Genus and Species Basseiarges mellishae

Cf Akantharges sp to Basseiarges mellishae gen nov sp nov

Note: Per recent reference below: newly erected genus is Basseiarges and new species is mellishae after Dr Martin Basse a researcher of Devonian trilobites

Trilobites Order Lichida, Family Lichidae, Subfamily Trochurinae

Geological Time: Middle Devonian

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Trilobite is 23 mm long by 18 mm wide (counting spines) on a 110 mm by 75 mm matrix

Fossil Site: Jorf, Morocco

Fossil Code: 12033-2795

Basseiarges mellishaeDescription: This unusual trilobite comes from a new location known as Jorf in Morocco, close to the site from which the polished goniatie ammonites originate. The preservation of the exoskeleton is reminiscent of them in terms of texture, unlike many trilobites from Morocco. The first examples I have come across were at the 2012 Tucson show, and were exhibited by the premier US importer of Moroccan specimens. I was unable to secure either, but did not give up the search. Here is a fine specimen of the taxon which is thought to be of the genus Akantharges. Note the pleasant strawberries and cream color of the matrix which has infused the trilobite with some of this color, making for a striking specimen. The seam appears to be a natural infilling by crystal much like that in the fossil reptile Keichosaurus from the Triassic of China. The rugose trailing edge to cephalon and pygidium is most unusual. Interestingly, every specimen I have seen seems to have some slight displacement either laterally or vertically to the pygidium. Perhaps this was a naturally weak feature. The flattened round shape and spines along the edge of the pleural and pygidiial lobes indicate to me a dweller of the seafloor. The body configuration would have served the same function as snowshoes.

Reference: Batalleria, 18, March 2013, pp 15-24

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