Original paper

Ernstipora mackinneyi, a new unique fenestrate bryozoan genus and species with an encrusting growth habit from the Emsian (Devonian) of NW Spain

Suárez-Andrés, Juan L.; Jackson, Patrick Wyse N.


Fenestellid bryozoans that developed superstructures are more prevalent in the Devonian than at any other time during their geological history. In some taxa such as Semicoscinium and Loculipora the superstructure is keel-supported, whereas in other taxa such as Hemitrypa and Hemitrypella a tight, often polygonal meshwork is supported on keel spines. Recent collecting in the Devonian of Arnao, Asturias, north-west Spain has revealed a fenestellid bryozoan with a superstructure, but which developed a unique zoarial form. Colonies are multilayered consisting of a basal portion from which arise a series of small sub-colonies. These sub-colonies are circular in plan, dome-shaped, narrowing distally to approximately 2 mm, and made up of between 8 to 18 branches from which is connected an outer superstructure characterized with circular openings and a nodose skeleton. Adjacent sub-colonies can merge. Each sub-colony acted as a monticule on which exhalent water currents were centred. Ernstipora is similar in form to Hemitrypa and Hemitrypella but differs from them in the arrangement of distally-narrowing subcolonies and it also lacks vesicular tissue present in the latter. These differences justify the erection of Ernstipora as a new genus.