Re-examination of the genus Omphalophloios White, 1898 from the Upper Silesian Coal Basin

 

Authors: Opluštil S, Bek J, Schultka S

Published in: Bulletin of Geosciences, volume 85, issue 1; pages: 39 - 52; Received 27 April 2009; Accepted in revised form 15 September 2009; Online 8 January 2010

Keywords: Omphalophloios, Sporangiostrobus, Densosporites, lycopsid, Pennsylvanian,

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Abstract

Three specimens of the genus Omphalophloios White from the Upper Silesian Coal Basin are described. Two of them are type specimens of Sporangiostrobus orzeschensis Bode and S. rugosus Bode which represent fragments of fertile areas with microsporangia. Bode’s specimens were revised to provide more precise data on their morphology and spores necessary for reliable comparison with other species of this genus. Only microspores were present. In situ microspores are variable and may be assigned to several dispersed species of the dispersed spore genus Densosporites (Berry) Butterworth et al. In situ densospores are closely comparable with previously described spores from other species of Omphalophloios. The two species distinguished by Bode (1928) on differences in spore morphology are ascribed to intraspecific variation. Additional criteria, which might justify retaining them as two different species were not found, since the cell pattern of the sporangial wall is essentially the same for all the species studied. Therefore, both species are synonymised and a new combination, Omphalophloios orzeschensis (Bode) comb. nov., is proposed and Sporangiostrobus Bode as the younger synonym of Omphalophloios. The third specimen studied is a vegetative stem fragment bearing Omphalophloios-type leaf cushions. Although the likelihood exists that it belongs to the same plant as the fertile remains, this cannot be proven. It is, therefore, described as a new species Omphalophloios bodei sp. nov.

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