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An early actinopterygian ichthyofauna from the Scottish Lower Coal Measures Formation: Westphalian A (Bashkirian)

  • Francis M. Elliott (a1)

Ten new early actinopterygian taxa are described from material collected from five North Lanarkshire coal shale tips in the Midland Valley of Scotland. The newly described taxa include Rhadinichthys? ornatocephalum, Rhadinichthys glabrolepis, Pseudogonatodus aurulentum, Pseudohaplolepis argentatum, Rhadinichthys? plumosum and Lanarkichthys gardineri. Also included are the haplolepids Blairolepis wallacei, Parahaplolepis poppaea, Braccohaplolepis fenestratum and Andrewsolepis lochlani. Additional information was also obtained for a further two named species, Rhadinichthys monensis Egerton and Rhadinichthys grossarti Traquair. The material used for this study was obtained from finely laminated slabs of carbonaceous shale containing incomplete and disarticulated specimens, including isolated skull dermal elements and scales preserved en masse. Using this information, the dermal skull bones of a number of taxa were reconstructed and illustrated in dorsal and lateral views. Furthermore, morphological characteristics of the skull roof of each taxon was used to obtain an appropriate dataset, in order to undertake non-vigorous phylogenic analyses to demonstrate possible relationships between the various groups within the assemblage. In addition, ossified endocranial remains from specimens of Rhadinichthys monensis were examined.

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