Author: WANG Shi-Jun, LI Cheng-Sen and TIAN Bao-Lin
J Integr Plant Biol 1999, 41 (4): -.
Scolecopteris Zenker, a kind of anatomically-preserved fertile foliage of Late Paleozoic Marattiales, has been well studied in Euramerican Flora. It is composed of 28 species which can be divided into four forms (groups) mainly based on modified or umodified pinnules, the variation of the outer facing sporangial walls, and with or without a prominent central parenchyma area. In contrast, Scolecopteris Zenker in Cathaysian Flora has been poorly studied so far, and only one species S. sinensis Zhao, was reported in 1991 which was considered as a member of Minor Group. The paper reports a second species of Scolecopteris, i.e.S, shanxiensis sp. nov., which differs from the above four groups in that its outer facing wall of the sporangia is thick at the base and top (2 ~ 3 layers of cells), and a little thinner ( 1~2 layers of cells) at the midlevel of the synangia. So a new group, Shanxiensis group, is set for the new species. The other characteristics of Shanxiensis group is comparable with Minor group. The new species comes from the coal balls in Coal Seam No. 7 in the upper part of Taiyuan Formation (early Early Permian) from Taiyuan, Shanxi, China. The identification of Scolecopteris shanxiensis sp. nov. :The fertile pinnule probably peeopterids, 5.5 ~ 6.0 mm in length and 2.0 ~ 2.2 mm in width. The lateral extensions of the lamina of the pinnule bend abaxially and above the synangia. The synangia arrange along the sides of the midrib of the pinnnle and there are about 10 synangia in each row. The synangium is elliptical in longitudinal section and radial in cross section, 0.7 ~ 0.8 mm in height and 0.6 ~ 0.7 mm in diameter. Each synangium has 5-7 (mostly 6) fusiform sporangia fused at the base and attached to the top of the synangial pedicel. The outer facing wall of the sporangia consists of 2~3 layers of cells at the base and becomes thinner at the midlevel (1~2 layers of cells), and at the top of the synangia the wall become thicker again. The cells of the outer facing wall of the sporangia are elongate in the longitudinal sections. The lateral and inner facing walls of the sporangia are one cell thick. The synangial pedicel is small. Spores in situ are small, generally 11~14 µm in diameter, spherical or rounded-triangular, trilete and smooth-walled.