Skip to main content

Biodiversity Journal 2017, Monograph: 315-389

  • Biodiversity Journal, 8 (2): 315-389 - MONOGRAPH

    Paolo Stara & Enrico Borghi
    Revision of the genus Amphiope L. Agassiz, 1840 (Echinoidea Astriclypeidae) with the description of a new species from the Miocene of France

    The taxonomy of Amphiope L. Agassiz, 1840 (Echinoidea, Astriclypeidae), an echinoid distributed in the Oligo-Miocene of Central and Southern Europe, is largely unresolved since the description of most species attributed to this genus was based only on the external morphological features, while important characters, such as the oral plating and the internal support system, were poorly illustrated or completely omitted. Additionally, the type material of some species was missing or badly preserved and geographical/stratigraphical information about the type-locality was unclear. This was the case also for Amphiope bioculata (Des Moulins, 1837), the type species of the genus. The poor definition of the earlier described species of Amphiope prevented comparison with fossils from other localities and ages, subsequently attributed to this genus. A large part of the earlier species of Amphiope, key-taxa for the resolution of the complex taxonomy of this genus, are herein revised by modern methods. For this purpose, the type material available in public institutions has been re-examined and, when possible, new topo-typic material has been collected. As a result, the morphological description of A. bioculata has been completed based on fossils from the Middle Miocene of Hérault (France), which is here considered as the type area. The redefinition of the type species allowed to extend comparison and taxonomic discussion to other species earlier attributed to Amphiope. Seventeen species are herein confirmed as valid and maintained in the genus Amphiope. Three additional species so far attributed to Amphiope have been transferred to the genus Paraamphiope Stara et Sanciu, 2014: P. agassizi (Des Moulins in Cotteau, 1865), P. cherichirensis (Thomas et Gauthier, 1889) and P. baquiei (Lambert, 1907). Amphiope boulei Cottreau, 1914, has been assigned to the genus Sculpsitechinus Stara et Sanciu, 2014. Amphiope romani n. sp. is described on the basis of a sample from the Serravallian-Tortonian of Touraine (France); it is distinguished mainly by the periproct very close to the posterior margin and the lack of sinus in correspondence of the frontal ambulacra.