New Late Devonian phacopid trilobites from Marhouma, SW Algerian Sahara


Authors: Feist R, Mahboubi A, Girard C

Published in: Bulletin of Geosciences, volume 91, issue 2; pages: 243 - 259; Received 20 December 2015; Accepted in revised form 12 April 2016; Online 26 May 2016

Keywords: phacopid trilobites, Late Devonian, SW Algerian Sahara, stratigraphy, taxonomy, environment,

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Late Devonian phacopid trilobites of the SW Algerian Sahara are recognised as being the most diversified in cratonic North Gondwana. The first trilobites in the Frasnian of Algeria were discovered in the Marhouma S section near Beni Abbes: the new genus Chlupacops with two species Ch. laticeps gen. et sp. nov. and Ch. aff. cryphoides (Richter&Richter) are described from the uppermost part of the Cheffar el Ahmar Formation of mid-Frasnian age. The latter taxon is compared with the type material of Ch. cryphoides (Richter&Richter) from Sessacker (Rhenish Slate Mts). New occurrences of lower Famennian phacopids in the “Argiles de Marhouma” Formation comprise the new genus Enigmapyge with its type species E. marhoumensis gen. et sp. nov., two species of Trimerocephalus: T. mahboubii sp. nov. and T. caecus (Gürich), two species of Trifoliops: Tr. cronierae sp. nov. and Tr. trifolius (Osmólska). In the middle Famennian, pygidia of Dianops cf. algeriensis Crônier were discovered. With the exception of the latter all taxa of the Marhouma S section can be assigned to conodont zones. The Algerian Late Devonian phacopids comprise predominantly blind or reduced-eyed taxa of basinal offshore environment. They are closely related to contemporaneous occurrences on the epicontinental margins of Laurussia as well as in Gondwana derived terranes and as such bear witness of the absence of oceanic barriers.