Scleractinia / 10th December 2016

ARAUJO TAVORA V. de, DIAS J. J., AGUILAR SANTOS C. L. de 2015. Scleractinia Corals of the Jandaira Formation (Turonian-Campanian), Rio Grande do Norte state, Brazil. Paleontologia mexicana 4, 2: 39-51.
This work deals with the systematic study of the corals collected in the Jandaira Formation, Turonian-Campanian of the Rio Grande do Norte state, Brazil. The specimens were recognized as Actinastrea decaturensis (Vaughan, 1919), A. guadalupae (Roemer, 1849), Stephanocoenia guadalupae Wells, 1932, Madracis johnwellsi Frost and Langenheim, 1974, Isastrea whitneyi Wells, 1932, Paracycloseris effrenatus Filkorn and Pantoja-Alor, 2009 and Orbicella travisensis Wells, 1932, as well as Isastrea sp. and two doubtful species, Turbinolia (Turbinolia)? insignifica Vaughan, 1900 and Placotrochus? texanus (Vaughan, 1903). The majority of these species occurs in the Aptian-Albian of USA and Mexico, as well as the Lower Tertiary of Central America and north of South America. This fauna is the westernmost hermatypic assemblage of the Turonian scleractinian and has affinities with others shallow marine Cretaceous units within USA and Mexico. [original abstract; Löser]

BARON-SZABO R. C. 2015. A new dendrophylliid coral genus Cairnsipsammia from the Lower Cretaceous of western Austria (Anthozoa; Scleractinia; Vorarlberg; Schrattenkalk Formation [upper Barremian-lower Aptian]). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 128, 4: 216-226.
The new colonial dendrophylliid coral genus Cairnsipsammia is described from the Lower Cretaceous Schrattenkalk Formation (Upper Barremian-Lower Aptian) of western Austria (Vorarlberg). The new genus is characterized by plocoid to submeandroid types of polyp integration, compact to porous costosepta, and corallites that are united by their perithecal walls or embedded in a narrow (up to 2 mm wide) porous, reticulate and costate coenosteum with granular surfaces. It represents the oldest colonial genus of the family Dendrophylliidae. The occurrence of Cairnsipsammia in a shallow-water, reefal environment (Schrattenkalk Formation), in combination with both the relatively high degree of corallite integration (submeandroid) and massive growth form points to the hypothesis that Cairnsipsammia may have been zooxanthellate. [original abstract; Baron-Szabo]

BARON-SZABO R. C. 2016. On the Genus Paraclausastrea Zlatarski, 1968 (Scleractinia; Hauterivian–Albian). Jahrbuch der Geologischen Bundesanstalt 155, 1-4: 199-208.
The scleractinian genus Paraclausastrea Zlatarski is revised on the basis of the study of type and original material as well as original descriptions. Representatives of this genus have been known from Lower Cretaceous (Hauterivian–Albian) sediments of Eastern and Southwestern Europe (Bulgaria and southern France), as well as from South and West Asia (Iran and Georgia [in Caucasus]), and include the species: P. chevalieri Zlatarski, 1968, P. grandidentata Zlatarski, 1968, P. pulchra Morycowa & Masse, 1998, and P. valclusensis Morycowa & Masse, 1998. Furthermore, new material belonging to the lower Aptian part of the Schrattenkalk Formation of western Austria (Vorarlberg) was recently described (P. vorarlbergensis Baron-Szabo, 2015). In the present work, additional material from the lower Aptian part of the Schrattenkalk Formation from Switzerland (Canton of Schwyz) is documented which belongs to the species P. kaufmanni (Koby, 1897). Up to now, representatives of the genus Paraclausastrea have been predominantly reported from reefal environments of the Urgonian Facies type. [original abstract; Baron-Szabo]

BARON-SZABO R. C. 2016. New taxonomic, stratigraphic, and geographic information on the genus Faksephyllia Floris, 1972 (Scleractinia; Caryophylliidae); first records from the Oligocene of Austria, Germany, and Italy. Zootaxa 4154, 5:526-540.
The scleractinian genus Faksephyllia Floris, 1972, is revised based on the study of original and topotypic material as well as original descriptions. Representatives of this genus have been reported from only a small number of lower Paleogene localities, including the Danian of Azerbaijan, Denmark (Greenland), Kazakhstan, and Sweden, as well as the Paleocene of Austria and Denmark (Fakse). New material belonging to the type species of Faksephyllia (F. faxoensis) is described from the Lower Oligocene of Austria (Northern Calcareous Alps, Tyrol). In addition, material from the Oligocene of Germany and the Lower Oligocene of Italy, formerly grouped with the genera Calamophyllia and Rhabdophyllia, are here re-assigned and transferred to Faksephyllia. The genus Faksephyllia remains a monospecific taxon, including only the type species, Faksephyllia faxoensis (Beck, in Lyell). In addition, Faksephyllia represents the earliest colonial genus among the caryophylliids. [original abstract; Baron-Szabo]

BOTKOVA O. 2002. Eocenni korali rodu Balanophyllia z lokality Skacany, Borocske Souvrstvi (Podtatranska Skupina). [Eocene corals of the genus Balanophyllia from the locality Skacany, Borova Formation (Sub-Tartras Group)] Zpravy o geologickych vyzkumech: 114-117. [Löser]

ELIASOVA H. 2015. Genres nouveaux et peu connus de coraux Scleractiniaires des calcaires de Stramberk (Jurassique superieur de Republique tcheque). Revue de Paleobiologie 34, 1: 59-76.
New or imperfectly known genera and species of Scleractinia from Stramberk Limestone (Early Tithonian-Early Berriasian, Flysch zone of the Outer Western Carpathians, the Czech Republic) are described: Halucinophyllia subridens n. gen. n. sp., Munusculum martinaseki n. gen., n. sp., Tegocoenia n. gen., Sylviella n. gen. [S. columnaris (Ogilvie), S. exquisita n. sp. S. multisepta n. sp., S. noveni n. sp., S. benjamin n. sp.], Sylviellopsis erici n. gen., n. sp. Emended diagnoses are proposed for two imperfectly known genera (Acrosmilia d'Orbigny, and Crateroseris Tomes). A new family, Sylviellidae n. fam. is proposed. The studied corals are extraordinarily well-preserved showing delicate morphological details of their external skeleton, which allows detailed descriptions. [original abstract; Löser]

HODGES M. S., STANLEY G. D. Jr. 2015. North American coral recovery after the end-Triassic mass extinction, New York Canyon, Nevada. GSA Today 25, 10: 4-9.
A Triassic-Jurassic (T/J) mass extinction boundary is well represented stratigraphically in west-central Nevada, USA, near New York Canyon, where the Gabbs and Sunrise Formations contain a continuous depositional section from the Luning Embayment. The well-exposed marine sediments at the T/J section have been extensively studied and reveal a sedimentological and paleontological record of intense environmental change and biotic turnover, which has been compared globally. Unlike the former Tethys region, Early Jurassic scleractinian corals surviving the end-Triassic mass extinction are not well-represented in the Americas. Here we illustrate corals of Early Sinemurian age from Nevada located at three horizons above the T/J boundary. These well-preserved corals represent one of the earliest Jurassic appearances in North America and the earliest in the United States. Their co-occurrence with bivalves, gastropods, and ammonites adds additional faunal elements to the study. The corals are exclusively solitary and occur in profusion packed within beds. They all belong to the family Stylophyllidae, known to have been extinction resistant. These post-extinction corals support the Hispanic Corridor hypothesis and provide new data on biotic recovery following the end-Triassic mass extinction. [original abstract; Stanley]

KIESSLING W., KOCSIS A. T. 2015. Biodiversity dynamics and environmental occupancy of fossil azooxanthellate and zooxanthellate scleractinian corals. Paleobiology 41, 3: 402-414. doi:10.1017/pab.2015.6.
Scleractinian corals have two fundamentally different life strategies, which can be inferred from morphological criteria in fossil material. In the non-photosymbiotic group nutrition comes exclusively from heterotrophic feeding, whereas the photosymbiotic group achieves a good part of its nutrition from algae hosted in the coral's tissue. These ecologic differences arose early in the evolutionary history of corals but with repeated evolutionary losses and presumably also gains of symbiosis since then. We assessed the biodiversity dynamics and environmental occupancy of both ecologic groups to identify times when the evolutionary losses of symbiosis as inferred from molecular analyses might have occurred and if these can be linked to environmental change. Two episodes are likely: The first was in the mid-Cretaceous when non-symbiotic corals experienced an origination pulse and started to become more common in deeper, non-reef habitats and on siliciclastic substrates initiating a long-term offshore trend in occupancy. The second was around the Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary with another origination pulse and increased occupancy of deep-water settings in the non-symbiotic group. Environmental factors such as rapid global warming associated with mid-Cretaceous anoxic events and increased nutrient concentrations in Late Cretaceous–Cenozoic deeper waters are plausible mechanisms for the shift. Turnover rates and durations are not significantly different between the two ecologic groups when compared over the entire history of scleractinians. However, the deep-water shift of non-symbiotic corals was accompanied by reduced extinction rates, supporting the view that environmental occupancy is a prominent driver of evolutionary rates. [original abstract; Wrzolek]

KOLODZIEJ B., GEDL E. 2000. Nowakocoenia cieszynica gen. et sp. nov. and its Barremian-Aptian age based on dinocysts (Polish Outer Carpathians). Annales Societatis Geologorum Poloniae 70, 2: 181-192.
[keywords: Scleractinian coral; dinocysts; Barremian-Aptian; Polish Outer Carpathians]
A colonial scleractinian coral Nowakocoenia cieszynica gen. et sp. nov. (suborder Stylinina, incertae familiae) from Rudzica near Bielsko-Biala (Outer Carpathians) is described. The new genus differs from other plocoidal and cerioidal stylininas mainly in irregularity in development of septa and the presence of wall developed in advance of septa. Exact locality and geological position of the coral specimen is unknown. Palynological analysis of calcareous sandstone forming a thin coat around the coral specimen allowed age determination. 65 species (including 21 in open nomenclature) of dinoflagellate cysts were recognized. Co-occurrence of Cepadinium ventriosum and Phoberocysta neocomica indicate the latest Barremian - Early Aptian age of this deposit. The coral was synchronically or penesynchronically redeposited from shallow water environment to flysch basin. Age and lithology of the sediment coating the specimen suggest the Grodziszcze Sandstones as coral-bearing deposits. [original abstract; Wrzolek]

LOESER H. 2015. The Cretaceous corals from the Bisbee Group (Sonora; Late Barremian-Early Albian): Solenocoeniidae. Paleontologia mexicana 4, 2: 13-24.
The current work constitutes the third part of the systematic revision of the corals from the Bisbee Group (Late Barremian to Early Albian) and deals with the Solenocoeniidae. This family taxon is applied instead of the poorly defined Cyathophoridae. The family has three genera in the Cretaceous of Sonora: Confusaforma, Cryptocoenia, and Cyathophoropsis. To distinguish samples within the Sonoran fauna and species of this genus, systematic measurements of the corals were taken and statistically analysed. From the Bisbee Group, two Confusaforma, six Cryptocoenia, and one Cyathophoropsis species are here described and illustrated. Most are common Early Cretaceous species with a wide geographic and stratigraphic distribution. [original abstract; Löser]

LOESER H. 2016. Remarks on the genus Angelismilia Reig, 1988 (Scleractinia, Early Cretaceous). Treballs del Museu de Geologia de Barcelona 21: 29-33.
The Calcaire a Spatangus of the lowermost Hauterivian (zone of Acanthodiscus radiatus) frequently crops out in the south-east of the Paris Basin, especially in the Department Yonne. The marly limestone is rich in fossils and often contains corals. A new outcrop of Calcaire a Spatangus was discovered close to Valliere in the south of the Department Aube. In connection with the revision of corals from Calcaire a Spatangus, the corals found in Valliere are briefly described in this preliminary note. [Löser]

LOESER H. 2016. Early evolution of the family Siderastraeidae (Scleractinia; Cretaceous-extant). Palaontologische Zeitschrift 90, 1: 1-17.
[keywords: Corals; Cretaceous; Scleractinia; New taxa]
Critical review of Mesozoic and Paleogene fossil type material and morphological comparison with the type genus Siderastrea of the family Siderastraeidae propose that the earliest members of the family date from the Late Valanginian (Early Cretaceous) and gained diversity during the Early Cretaceous. The most common member is the new genus Eosiderastrea, which encompasses all Cretaceous material that was formerly assigned to the extant coral genus Diploastrea. The new genus is characterised by an astreoid, rarely plocoid or cerioid calicular arrangement, and a sub-regular septal symmetry representing hexameral, heptameral, octameral and decameral symmetries. The septal blades are made of medium-large trabeculae. Synapticulae are present. Eighteen Cretaceous species are assigned to the new genus. The genus Eosiderastrea occurs worldwide and ranges from the Late Valanginian to the Santonian. Cretaceous material formerly assigned to Siderofungia is assigned to the new genus Palaeosiderofungia, which is characterised by a thamnasterioid calicular arrangement with calices predominantly arranged in rows and an extended coenosteum. The septal blades are made of medium-large trabeculae; synapticulae are present. There is no septal symmetry. Apart from the type species Thamnasteria exigua, another four unnamed species are known. The new genus occurs only in the Boreal and Central to Western Tethys and ranges from the Aptian to Santonian. The occurrence of the extant Siderastrea in the Cretaceous cannot be ruled out. Isolated finds are reported from the Aptian onwards. [original abstract; Wrzolek]

LOESER H. 2016. Taxonomy and distribution of the Cretaceous coral genus Eosiderastrea. Carnets de Geologie 16, 16: 383-416. (published online on July 7, 2016;
[keywords: Corals; Scleractinia; Cretaceous; taxonomy; new taxa]
The new genus Eosiderastrea Loeser, 2016, was established for Cretaceous corals formerly assigned to the extant coral genus Diploastrea. It represents the oldest member of the Family Siderastraeidae. The genus is characterised by an astreoid arrangement, occasionally although some have a plocoid or a cerioid calicular arrangement, and a sub-regular hexameral, heptameral, octameral or decameral septal symmetry. The septal blades are made of medium-sized trabeculae. Synapticulae are present. Almost a hundred specimens were examined, among them numerous type specimens. In total, 26 Cretaceous species were separated. Fifteen species were assigned to formally established species, three species were compared to one of these species, two species were described as new and the remaining six species were reported in open nomenclature. The genus occurs in the Cretaceous worldwide and ranges from the late Valanginian to the Santonian. It shows its greatest diversity in the earliest Aptian and early to middle Cenomanian. [original abstract; Wrzolek]

LOESER H. 2016. The Cretaceous corals from the Bisbee Group (Sonora, Mexico; Late Barremian - Early Albian): suborder Heterocoeniina. Paleontologia mexicana 1, 5: 41-51.
The current work constitutes the fourth part of the systematic revision of the corals from the Bisbee Group in Sonora, north-west Mexico (Late Barremian to Early Albian) and deals with the suborder Heterocoeniina. Twelve species from three families are reported: Carolastraeidae (genera Heteropistophyllum, Latusastrea, Pleurocoenia and Pleurodendron), Heterocoeniidae (genus Heterosmilia), and Paronastraeidae (genus Tiarasmilia) are described and illustrated. The family taxon Carolastraeidae is applied instead of the problematic family taxon Elasmocoeniidae which was temporarily applied to Heterocoeniina with a bilateral septal symmetry. With the exception of the genus Pleurocoenia, the genera are rare in the Cretaceous and do not show distinct palaeobiogeographic relationships. [original abstract; Loeser]

LOESER H., FOEZY I. 2016. Asteroseris from the Bersek Marl (Gerecse Mountains, Hungary; Early Cretaceous; Anthozoa). Fragmenta Palaeontologica Hungarica 32: 3-10.
The small cupolate solitary coral Asteroseris is reported from Late Valanginian to Hauterivian marls from the Bersek Hill (Gerecse Mountains, Northern Hungary). The material is poorly preserved and the taxonomic assignation difficult. The findings mark the first occurrence of the family Asteroseriidae. [original abstract; Löser]

LOESER H., SKLENAR J. 2016. The Scleractinian coral genus Glenarea (Bohemian Cretaceous Basin). Acta Musei Nationalis Pragae (B) Historia Naturalis 71, 3/4: 365-376.
The enigmatic Cretaceous coral genus Glenarea is revised on the basis of the type specimen of its type species Glenarea cretacea Pocta, 1887. The provenance of the large silicified specimen is discussed. Glenarea has an unusual morphology and resembles the Eocene coral genera Triphyllocoenia and Ewaldocoenia. Both the latter genera are revised here as well, resulting in synonymisation of Ewaldocoenia with Triphyllocoenia. Glenarea shows fewer than 10 thick, unconnected septa that lack any symmetry in their arrangement. Skeletal elements such as columella, pali and endotheca are absent. The genus is only known from the type specimen. For the coral material that was assigned to Glenarea after 1991, the genus Sakalavastraea Alloiteau, 1958 with the type species S. collignoni from the Callovian of Madagascar is applied. Another three species are assigned to the genus, one of which is new. The range of Sakalavastraea is considerably extended from Callovian to Cenomanian; the genus is distributed worldwide. [original abstract; Löser]

LOESER H., ZELL P. 2016. Late Aptian corals from the South Iberian Sub-Basin (Cretaceous; Eastern Spain). Revista de la Sociedad Geologica de Espana 29, 1: 3-20.
A small coral fauna from the Aptian Calizas con Rudistas del Caroch Formation 18 km NNE of Requena (Valencia) is described. A total of 21 species in 11 genera of the suborders Archeocaeniina, Caryophylliina, Faviina, Meandrinina, Rhipidogyrina, Microsolenina, and Stylinina are reported. For the genus Angelismilia the range of its stratigraphic distribution is extended. For the formerly monospecific genus Nudacolumastrea another two species are described. The studied fauna is typical for the Early Cretaceous; almost all species were indicated in the early Aptian, but less in the Albian or Cenomanian. Only one genus has a range beyond the Cenomanian. The fauna is dominated by plocoid colonies (genera Cryptocoenia, Holocystis and Nudacolumastrea; 13 species) whereas cerioid, flabelloid, meandrinoid, phaceloid, and solitary forms are subordinated. Palaeobiogeographic relationship exists with the lower Albian of Montmell Formation in East Iberia and various Mexican faunas of Aptian to Albian age. [original abstract; Löser]

MORYCOWA E. 2013. Cretaceous Scleractinian coral Preverastraeopsis gen. n. from central Greece. Rivista italiana di paleontologia 119, 2: 199-203.
The aulastraeoporid coral Preverastraeopsis gen. n. represented by one species Phyllocoenia major Hackemesser, 1936 from the Cenomanian (?Aptian-Cenomanian) of Central Greece is described. The new genus, characterized by astreoid colony structure is not known to date in the family Aulastraeoidea Alloiteau. The genus is related to Preverastraea Beauvais, which differs from Preverastraeopsis by cerioid colony with corallite wall in structural continuation with the septa. In the latter the radial elements are of costo-septal type, free in their external ends. [original abstract; Löser]

MORYCOWA E., RONIEWICZ E. 2016. Microstructural evidence of the stylophyllid affinity of the genus Cyathophora (Scleractinia, Mesozoic). Annales Societatis Geologorum Poloniae 86, 1: 1-16.
[keywords: Microstructure; homeomorphy; taxonomy; Cyathophoridae; Stylinidae; Stylophyllidae; Triassic; Jurassic; Cretaceous]
The genus Cyathophora Michelin, 1843 (Cyathophoridae) is removed from the suborder Stylinina Alloiteau, 1952 and transferred to the Stylophyllina Beauvais, 1980. Morphologically, it differs from stylinine corals in that rudimentary septa are developed in the form of ridges or spines on the wall and may continue onto the endothecal elements as amplexoid septa. Relics of primary aragonite microstructure, preserved in silicified colonies of Cyathophora steinmanni Fritzsche, 1924 (Barremian-early Aptian) and in a calcified colony of C. richardi Michelin, 1843 (middle Oxfordian), indicate a non-trabecular structure of their skeletons. The sclerenchyme of radial elements is differentiated into fascicles of fibres, and in the form of fascicles or a non-differentiated layer of fibres, it continues as the upper part of endothecal elements and as the incremental layers of the wall. A micro-lamellation of the skeleton corresponds to the accretionary mode of skeleton growth found in Recent corals. A similarity between the septal microstructure of Cyathophora and that of the stylophyllid genera, the Triassic Anthostylis Roniewicz, 1989 and the Triassic-Early Jurassic Stylophyllopsis Frech, 1890, is interpreted as a result of their being phylogenetically related. The microstructure of the Jurassic Stylina gaulardi Michelin, 1843 has been considered for purposes of comparison. The systematics of the genus Cyathophora is formally revised with C. richardi Michelin reinstated as the type species. [original abstract; Wrzolek]

TOTH L. T., KUFFNER I. B., CHENG Hai, LAWRENCE EDWARDS R. 2015. A new record of the Late Pleistocene coral Pocillopora palmata from the Dry Tortugas, Florida Reef Tract, USA. Palaios 30, 12: 827-835.
Pocilloporid corals dominated shallow-water environments in the Caribbean during much of the Cenozoic; however, the regional diversity of this family declined over the last 15 My, culminating with the extinction of its final member, Pocillopora palmata, during the latest Pleistocene. Here we present a new record of P. palmata from Dry Tortugas National Park in the Florida Keys and infer its likely age. Although most existing records of P. palmata are from the sub-aerial reef deposits of MIS5e (~ 125 ka), the presently submerged reef in the Dry Tortugas was too deep (> 18 m) during this period to support significant reef growth. In contrast, the maximum water depth during MIS5a (~ 82 ka) was only ~ 5.6 m, which would have been ideal for P. palmata. Diagenetic alteration prevented direct dating of the samples; however, the similarity between the depths of the Pleistocene bedrock in the Dry Tortugas and other reefs in the Florida Keys, which have been previously dated to MIS5a, support the conclusion that P. palmata likely grew in the Dry Tortugas during this period. Our study provides important new information on the history of P. palmata, but it also highlights the vital need for more comprehensive studies of the Quaternary history of Caribbean reef development. With modern reef degradation already driving yet another restructuring of Caribbean coral assemblages, insights from past extinctions may prove critical in determining the prognosis of Caribbean reefs in the future. [original abstract; Wrzolek]

ZORN I. 2016. Upper Cretaceous Corals Stored in the Palaeontological Collections of the Geological Survey of Austria. Jahrbuch der Geologischen Bundesanstalt 155: 147-197.
The collections of the Geological Survey of Austria in Vienna include Upper Cretaceous corals from Austria which were treated in Reuss (1854), Felix (1899, 1901, 1903), Beauvais (1982), Beauvais & Beauvais (1975), Baron-Szabo (1999, 2002, 2003a–c, 2014a, b), Szente et al. (2010) and Löser (2009, 2014a). The present paper provides a summary of the total stock, the processing status of holo-, lecto- and neotypes in detail as well as a list of all existing specimens with the most important master data and republications. Several type specimens, such as the holotype of Phyllosmilia felixi Beauvais, 1982 and the lectotypes of Placosmilia fenestrata (Felix, 1903) and Strotogyra sinuosa (Felix, 1903) are figured as well as some newly discovered syntypes of Reuss (1854). In addition, the inventory of unpublished corals from the Upper Cretaceous of Austria is discussed. [original abstract; Loeser]