The type specimen of Nilssoniopteris solitaria (Phillips 1829) Cleal et P.M.Rees 2003 (Bennettitales)
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Swedish Museum of Natural History, Palaeobiology Department, Box 50007, 104 05 Stockholm, Sweden
LWL-Museum für Naturkunde, Sentruper Straße 285, 48161 Münster, Germany
Naturalis Biodiversity Center, PO Box 9517, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands, and Laboratory of Palaeobotany and Palynology, Heidelberglaan 2, 3584 CD Utrecht, The Netherlands
Online publication date: 2017-12-19
Publication date: 2017-12-19
Acta Palaeobotanica 2017; 57(2): 177–184
We identified and located the type specimen of Scolopendrium solitarium, which is the basionym to what for decades was commonly referred to as “Nilssoniopteris vittata” and is now known as Nilssoniopteris solitaria (Phillips) Cleal et P.M.Rees. As Cleal and Rees (2003) never located and studied the type specimen of Scolopendrium solitarium and simply trusted Harris (1969), who included Scolopendrium solitarium in the synonymy of Nilssoniopteris vittata, it remained to be shown that this specimen indeed has bennettitalean affinities. Here we provide results of a cuticular analysis of the material and confirm the bennettitalean nature of Scolopendrium solitarium, and consequently that its placement in Nilssoniopteris solitaria is valid. Nilssoniopteris solitaria is, as a senior synonym of Nilssoniopteris tenuinervis, the type species of Nilssoniopteris. The name “Nilssoniopteris vittata” should no longer be used because it was based on Taeniopteris vittata, which is the conserved type of Taeniopteris, a genus in which taeniopterid fossils are placed if epidermal anatomy is unknown. Specimens id