Article: Caradoc strophomenoid and plectambonitoid brachiopods from Wales and the Welsh Borderland
L. Robin M. Cocks
Ordovician strophomenoidean and plectambonitoidean brachiopods are reviewed and partially redescribed from the Caradoc (Sandbian to Early Katian) age rocks of Wales and the Welsh Borderland of England, then forming part of the Avalonia Terrane. There are 51 nominal species available, of which 12 are synonymised here and many transferred to different genera. Strophomenoids occurred sporadically, often rarely but occasionally abundantly, particularly in mid-shelf benthic assemblages, and 21 named species and subspecies are noted, including the new Kiaeromena (Kiaeromena) harperi, as well as six in open nomenclature. The common genus Kjaerina, with six species known from the area, is revised in detail. In contrast to the strophomenoids, plectambonitoids were more common in shallow and mid-shelf assemblages, including Eoplectodonta (Eoplectodonta) abigailae sp. nov., with Sowerbyella in particular dominating many bedding planes, and 17 named species are reviewed, as well as three in open nomenclature. The distinctive Gunningblandella, hitherto known only from Australia and Kazakhstan, is recorded for the first time from Europe. The Avalonian strophomenides are compared with those from neighbouring terranes, particularly Laurentia and Baltica, during a time when the seas between those terranes were narrowing, and the faunas from the three terranes are found to be largely similar at the generic level, although there are few species in common. In contrast, there are few genera in common between those three terranes and the Mediterranean Province of Northwestern Gondwana.