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Vol. 52 (2016)

Megapezia longipes Willard and Cleaves 1930 from the Pennsylvanian Rhode Island Formation of Massachusetts: ichnotaxonomic status

January 5, 2016
April 10, 2016


The type and only specimen of the ichnospecies Megapezia longipes, from the Pennsylvanian Rhode Island Forma-tion of Plainville, Massachusetts, consists of two poorly defined tracks, one made by a manus and the other by a pes, rather than a single pedal imprint. Whereas the type species of Megapezia, Megapezia pineoi, has tetradactyl pedal imprints, the pes imprint of Megapezia longipes is pentadactyl, a feature that precludes assignment to this ichnogenus. Rather, the tracks share two characteristics with the ichnogenus Matthewichnus, namely elongate digits II and III on the manus, and a pes imprint oriented anterolaterally to the manus imprint, and are thus tentatively reassigned to that ichnogenus. Cf. Matthewichnus longipes is retained as a separate ichnospecies pending the collection of additional ma-terial that can be compared with other species within the ichnogenus. With the tentative reassignment of the Plainville tracks to Matthewichnus, Megapezia becomes monospecific and is no longer recorded in New England. The tracks are the first known occurrence of Matthewichnus from this region.