Ontogenetic and intraspecific variation in the late Emsian – Eifelian (Devonian) conodonts Polygnathus serotinus and P. bultyncki in the Prague Basin (Czech Republic) and Nevada (western U.S.)

Gilbert Klapper, Stanislava Vodrazkova


Samples from populations of Polygnathus serotinus Telford 1975 and P. bultyncki Weddige 1977 from the Prague Basin and Nevada display normal variation for Devonian conodont species. A considerable number of previous authors, however, have proposed unnecessary synonyms of these two species, primarily because they have not recognized ontogenetic variation. In contrast, we interpret the variation as ontogenetic as well as intraspecific and present detailed synonymies as a result. A third species, P. praetrigonicus Bardashev 1992, which has been carried in open nomenclature for many years, is an important indicator of the basal costatus Zone in the Prague Basin, New York, and Nevada. We review the stratigraphic distribution of these three species and the conodont zonation across the Emsian-Eifelian (Lower-Middle Devonian) boundary. Polygnathus pseudocostatus sp. nov. (partitus-costatus zones, central Nevada) is described herein. We have observed a decrease in the pit size during ontogeny in P. bultyncki although we have not measured enough specimens to rule out intraspecific versus ontogenetic variation. 


Devonian; Emsian-Eifelian conodont zonation; Ontogenetic and intraspecific variation; Taxonomic revision.

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