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First fossil asellote (Isopoda: Asellota), from the Upper Triassic (Norian) of the Carnic Prealps (Friuli, northeastern Italy)

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The first asellote isopod from the fossil record is described here as Fornicaris calligarisi Wilson and Selden, n. gen. and sp. The two specimens, both probably males, showing dorsal morphology, come from loose material of the Dolomia di Forni Formation in the bed of the Tagliamento River below the town of Forni di Sotto, Udine Province, Friuli Venezia Giulia Autonomous Region, northeastern Italy. The Dolomia di Forni Formation is Triassic (Norian) in age, and the fossils date from approximately 210-215 Ma. Characters such as narrow, elongate eye stalks, tiny uropods, and enlarged first pereionite (found in terminal males) place the fossil within the Paramunnidae. Parsimony analysis using TNT placed the fossil within the Austrosignum-Munnogonium species complex. The robust pereiopods with hooked tips, elongate and robust carpus and propodus of pereiopod I, axial compression of the pereion, and the large size of the fossils (>2× related extant taxa) are features particular to the fossil genus and species.

Affiliations: 1: 5Museo Friulano di Storia Naturale, via Marangoni 39-41, 33100 Udine, Italy; 2: 6Institut Català de Paleontologia “M. Crusafont,” C/Escola Industrial 23, E-08201 Sabadell, Spain


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