A Selaginellites from the Rhaetian of Wüstenwelsberg (Upper Franconia, Germany)

Johanna H.A. van Konijnenburg-van Cittert, Evelyn Kustatscher, Kathleen Bauer, Christian Pott, Stefan Schmeißner, Günter Dütsch & Michael Krings

Sterile shoots and a microsporangiate strobilus of a new herbaceous lycophyte, Selaginellites coburgensis nov. spec., are described from the Rhaetian (uppermost Triassic) of Wüstenwelsberg near Coburg, Germany. Shoots branch dichotomously and bear two lateral rows of larger and two median rows of smaller microphylls. Sporophylls are scale-like; sporangia contain Uvaesporites-type spores, which permit a direct comparison of macrofossil evidence with the dispersed spore record. Selaginellites coburgensis is significant because lycophyte macrofossils are exceedingly rare in the Rhaeto-Liassic of Franconia. The plant probably grew in habitats that were shady and relatively humid, perhaps within dense vegetation and/or in close proximity to bodies of water that locally provided a favourable microclimate.


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