Original paper

The otoliths from the middle Paleocene of Luzanivka (Cherkasy district, Ukraine)

Schwarzhans, Werner; Bratishko, Andriy


Fish otoliths are described from the middle Paleocene (Selandian) from temporary outcrops at Luzanivka, Cherkasy district, Central Ukraine. A total of 26 species are described, 15 as newly established and 5 in open nomenclature. This is the first record of Paleocene otoliths from the Ukraine and the central Ukrainian Basin, which formed the most westward extension of the Caspian Basin during early Tertiary times. As a consequence the fauna from Luzanivka shows a considerable regional differentiation from the better known Paleocene otolith-based fish faunas of central and western Europe, which is expressed in the high amount of new species. The location is on the fringes of the basin, on the stable Ukrainian shield south of the deep Dnjeper graben in a shallow, near shore environment with coral patches. The first fossil occurrence of a relative of the recent 'garden eels' is remarkable in this respect (Heteroconger astroblematicus n. sp.). Of particular interest from a phylogenetic point of view are certain gadiform otoliths (genus Merlucciidarum antiquus n. sp. and Maorigadus ukrainicus n. sp., the latter probably related to the basal gadiform family Muraenolepididae) and very plesiomorphic percoid otoliths (genus Epigonidarum tyassminensis n. sp., genus Sparidarum spatiatus n. sp., genus Haemulidarum gullentopsi and genus Haemulidarum makarenkoi n. sp.). Further new taxa described are: Chlorophthalmus udovichenkoi n. sp., Arius subtilis n. sp., Fierasferoides bucculentus n. sp., Gadophycis serratus n. sp., Ogilbia luzanensis n. sp., genus Bythitidarum rozenbergi n. sp., Centroberyx anguinicauda n. sp., genus Holocentridarum ryabchuni n. sp. and genus Leiognathidarum tashlikensis n. sp.