Osteology and relationships of Italoalbula pietrarojae gen. and sp. nov. (Teleostei, Albuliformes) from the Marine Cretaceous of Pietraroja (Campania, Southern Italy)


Italoalbula pietrarojae gen. and sp. nov., a fossil teleost fish from the marine Albian deposits (Lower Cretaceous) of Pietraroja (Campania, S Italy), is described in details. There are rostral ossicles. The retroarticular is fused to the angular. The neural arches on the first preural and the first ural vertebrae are fused together and form an elongate plate above these two centra. These three apomorphies and some other osteological features indicate that I. pietrarojae belongs to the super-order Elopomorpha. The mouth is small and slightly inferior. The infraorbital sensory canal runs in a groove on the premaxilla. The maxilla is reduced. There is only one small supramaxilla. The lower jaw is short and triangle-shaped. There are small pointed needle-like tooth on the jaws. The parasphenoid bears a broadened toothed plate. The supraorbital and mandibular sensory canals are open. The orbitosphenoid is lying on the parasphenoid. The temporal fossa is small and antero-medially directed. The ventral branch of the preopercle is elongate. All these specialized characters show that the relationships of the new Albian elopomorph fish are to be found within the order Albuliformes and more particularly within the family Albulidae. However, Italoalbula differs from all the known fossil and recent Albulidae and so deserves a peculiar generic status.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i15910725v40p95

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