Fishes from the Eocene of Bolca, northern Italy, previously classified in the Sparidae, Serranidae and Haemulidae (Perciformes)

Alexandre Fedorovich BANNIKOV

en Geodiversitas 28 (2) - Pages 249-275

Published on 30 June 2006

A revision of the type specimens of the Eocene fish species described by Agassiz from Bolca (Italy) and deposited in the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Paris, revealed that the putative Eocene sparids include the monotypic genera Abromasta (with the species A. microdon (Agassiz, 1839)), Pseudosparnodus (with the species P. microstomus (Agassiz, 1839)), and less definitely Ellaserrata (with the species E. monksi Day, 2003), in addition to the genus Sparnodus with two species, S. vulgaris (Blainville, 1818) and S. elongatus Agassiz, 1839. The validity of the latter is restored. Dentex leptacanthus Agassiz, 1839 and D. crassispinus Agassiz, 1839 are redescribed in detail and recognized as lutjanids rather than sparids, with the new species combinations Ottaviania leptacanthus n. comb. and Goujetia crassispina n. comb. respectively. Dentex ventralis Agassiz, 1839 is regarded as a nomen dubium. Serranus ventralis Agassiz, 1839, previously thought to be a synonym of Sparnodus elongatus, is described as the lutjanid Veranichthys ventralis n. comb.; the species name Serranus rugosus Heckel, 1854, usually regarded as valid, is actually its junior synonym. Thus, the genus Serranus is absent in the Bolca fauna. The family Lutjanidae is represented in the Bolca fish assemblage by at least four species in three genera (Ottaviania Sorbini, 1983, Goujetia n. gen. and Veranichthys n. gen.). It is shown that the “haemulid” Pomadasys furcatus (Agassiz, 1839) is actually a synonym of Sparnodus elongatus Agassiz, 1839, and that haemulids are absent from the Eocene fauna of Bolca. Odonteobolca sparoides (Agassiz, 1839) is probably a synonym of the “sparid” Pseudosparnodus microstomus (Agassiz, 1839). If it can be confirmed, the generic name Odonteobolca Krell, 1991 will have priority over the name Pseudosparnodus Day, 2003.


Perciformes, Percoidei, Sparidae, Lutjanidae, Goujetia n. gen., Veranichthys n. gen., Eocene, Bolca, Italy, new genera

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