Acta Palaeontologica Polonica

Revision of the amphibian genus Limnerpeton (Temnospondyli) from the Upper Carboniferous of the Czech Republic

Andrew R. Milner and Sandra E.K. Sequeira

Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 48 (1), 2003: 123-141

The Late Carboniferous amphibian genus Limnerpeton Fritsch, 1881 is revised on the basis of the type specimens of the eight original species described by Fritsch using material from Nýřany, Třemošná and Kounov, now in the Czech Republic. The type species Limnerpeton modestum is a nomen dubium restricted to a mandible that almost certainly belongs to an amphibamid temnospondyl but is not critically diagnostic. "Limnerpeton" laticeps and "Limnerpeton" macrolepis lectotypes are both small individuals of the same taxon as the later described Mordex calliprepes Steen, 1938 and thus form part of the hypodigm of Mordex laticeps comb. nov. "Limnerpeton" elegans is now Limnogyrinus elegans and is a member of the temnospondyl family Micromelerpetontidae. "Limnerpeton" obtusatum is a specimen of the microsaur Microbrachis pelikani. "Limnerpeton" dubium is an indeterminate tetrapod, probably either a temnospondyl or a pelycosaur. "Limnerpeton" difficile is a nomen dubium but the type is probably a small specimen of the tuditanomorph microsaur Crinodon limnophyes. "Limnerpeton" caducum is almost certainly a specimen of the ophiderpetontid aistopod Oestocephalus granulosus. Several other described small temnospondyls from Nýřany are discussed and shown to be specimens of either Limnogyrinus elegans, Mordex laticeps or Amphibamidae incertae sedis. The tetrapod fauna at Nýřany includes four dissorophoid temnospondyls as proposed by Milner (1986) but with two changes in nomenclature. They comprise the branchiosaurid Branchiosaurus salamandroides, the micromelerpetontid Limnogyrinus elegans, the amphibamid Platyrhinops cf. lyelli and the primitive trematopid Mordex laticeps. These represent four of the five major dissorophoid families and demonstrate that the group had already diversified by the late Westphalian.

Key words: Amphibia, Temnospondyli, Dissorophoidea, Carboniferous, Czech Republic.

Andrew R. Milner [a.milner@bbk.ac.uk], and Sandra E.K. Sequeira, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Birkbeck College, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX, England.