June 2021
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Palaeovertebrata44-1: 2021
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Designating a lectotype for Mesacanthus pusillus (Gnathostomata: Acanthodii)
Matthew Baron and Kevin Seymour
Keywords: acanthodians; Chordata; Devonian; Midland Valley; Orcadian Basin

doi: 10.18563/pv.44.1.e2

Cite this article: Baron M., Seymour K., 2021. Designating a lectotype for Mesacanthus pusillus (Gnathostomata: Acanthodii). Palaeovertebrata 44 (1)-e2. doi: 10.18563/pv.44.1.e2

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The early gnathostome genus Mesacanthus is well represented in both Lower Old Red Sandstone and Middle Old Red Sandstone assemblages of northern and central Scotland. This ‘acanthodian’ taxon is currently thought to comprise two valid species: M. mitchelli and M. pusillus. Although the whereabouts of the holotype of M. mitchelli (NHMUK PV P560) is known, the syntype material for M. pusillus has long been thought lost. Here we identify at least one specimen that formed part of the original syntype material for M. pusillus, albeit in a slightly different condition than when it was originally figured. This specimen is ROM 25872, which is here designated as the lectotype. A second specimen – ELGNM 1978.191.1 – could represent another of the syntype specimens, but poor preservation quality makes it impossible to be certain. 

Published in 44-1 (2021)


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