GEOLOGICA CARPATHICA, 49, 2, BRATISLAVA, APRIL 1998
AN UPPER TRIASSIC LIMESTONE PEBBLE WITH SPIRIGERA
DESLONGCHAMPSI SUESS FROM THE SOUTHERN
PART OF THE WESTERN CARPATHIANS, SOUTHERN SLOVAKIA
, MILO SIBLÍK
and JÁN SOTÁK
Department of Geology and Paleontology, Faculty of Sciences, Comenius University, Mlynská dolina, 842 15 Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Geological Institute, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Rozvojová 135, 165 00 Prague, Czech Republic
Geological Institute, Slovak Academy of Sciences Bratislava; Branch: Severná 5, 974 01 Banská Bystrica, Slovak Republic
(Manuscript received October 3, 1997; accepted in revised form December 11, 1997)
Abstract: The brachiopod Spirigera deslongchampsi Suess has so far been known only in the Northern Calcareous
Alps. It is the first find of this fossil in the Western Carpathians. The brachiopod belongs to the family Spirigerellidae
Grunt 1965 (sensu Dagys 1974) and it is most probably a new genus. It is a very rarely occurring fossil (only a very
few speciments were found altogether) so its generic identification for the time being remains doubtful. According to
macro and mainly micro fossils the pebble material is of the Early Rhaetian age. We assume that it derives from a
transitional type between Hallstatt limestones and Zlambach Beds facies.
Key words: Western Carpathians, Late Triassic, microfacies, microfossils, Alpine brachiopods.
A limestone pebble with Spirigera deslongchampsi has
been found in conglomerates of Egerian age on the northern
margin of the Rimavská kotlina Depression. It is the first
find of this species on the Western Carpathians territory and
the first occurrence outside the Northern Calcareous Alps.
The locality is situated 2 km SW from Chvalová village in
the Banská Valley, see Fig. 1. The first petrographical analy-
sis of these conglomerates was carried out by Marková 1959.
The conglomerates are formed by pebbles of Mesozoic rocks
(Triassic and Jurassic) of the Silica Nappe and partly of rocks
of the Meliata Formation as reported by Miík & Sýkora
1981. They identified Lower Triassic limestones with Mean-
drospira iulia Premoli-Silva, limestones of Wetterstein fa-
cies, Tisovec Limestone with Clypeina besici Radoicic,
Hallstatt Limestone and limestone pebble with the brachio-
pods. Results of the brachiopod study are given in the present
contribution. All these rocks mentioned belong to Silica
Nappe succession. Metamorphic limestone and radiolarites
of the Meliata Formation were rarely found.
Description of investigated pebble
The pebble studied is well rounded with (a) axis of 15 cm.
The limestone is fine-grained and of rusty-brown to yellowish
colour and nondescriptly spotted. The limestone is biomicrite
wackestone to packstone (Pl. II: Fig. 9). The biodetritus is
mainly formed by calcified silicisponge spicules. Ossicles of
echinoderms crinoids, echinoid spines, ossicles of ophi-
uria, planctonic crinoids of the genus Osteocrinus, holoturian
sclerites Theelia sp. are present. Fragments of punctate
brachiopods, foraminifers and ostracods occur relatively of-
ten. Sporadically zoospores Globochaete alpina Lombard,
G. tatrica Radwanski and G. gregaria Schäfer & Senowbari-
Daryan are found. Fragments of dasycladacean thalli (Pl. II:
Fig. 3), Halicoryne (Pl. II: Fig. 4), Thaumatoporella parvove-
siculifera (Raineri) as well as fragments of juvenile ammo-
nite shells, minutegastropods and lamellibranch fragments
are rare. Fragments of bryozoan zooecia of the order Cyclos-
tomata are scattered, mainly belonging to a form of genus
Stomatopora. Aeolisaccus tintinniformis Miík, A. cf. am-
plimuralis Pantic, A. cf. inconstans Radoicic, Didemnoides
moreti (Durand Delga) (Pl. II: Fig. 5) are rare. The organic
detritus is prevailingly fragmentary and mainly of the size of
fine-grained sand. Besides organic remains, a terrigenous ad-
mixture (clay and clastic quartz of silt size) is present. It con-
tains several shells of Spirigera only but one specimen is
relatively well preserved. We emphasize that this facies has
not been found in the outcrops of the Silica Nappe yet.
Description of the brachiopod specimen
Order: Athyridida Boucot, Johnson & Staton 1964
Superfamily: Athyridacea Davidson 1881
Family: Spirigerellidae Grunt 1965
Spirigera dOrbigny 1847
Spirigera deslongchampsi Suess 1855
(Pl. I: Figs. 12, Text. Fig. 2)
1855 Spirigera Deslongchampsi Suess Suess, p. 26, Pl.1, Fig. 3.
1890 Spirigera Deslongchampsi Suess Bittner, p. 243, Pl. 15, Figs. 35.
1988 Spirigera deslongchampsi Suess Siblík, p. 83, Pl. 6, Fig. 5 (with
note on using the name Spirigera).
Holotype: It is deposited in the collection of the Geolo-
gische Bundesanstalt in Vienna under No. 1855/5/2 (Pl. I:
100 SÝKORA, SIBLÍK
Fig. 2). It measures ca. 23.0
14.8 mm and derives
from the Norian Hallstätterkalk of the Steinbergkogel near
Hallstatt the Hallstatt Zone, Juvavic Superunit, Upper Austria.
Material: One damaged specimen without posterior part of
pedicle valve, measuring ca. 24.0
16.2 mm (Pl. I:
Fig. 1) and one incomplete pedicle valve, deposited in the col-
lection of Slovak National Museum under No. SNM Z 21978.
Diagnosis and remarks: Equibiconvex smooth shells of
subpentagonal outline. Shallow sulcations developed both in
pedicle valve and on corresponding fold of brachial valve, per-
ceptible as a flattening near umbones. Low uniplication rela-
tively broad, rising steeply from commissural plane, and
straightly limited on dorsal side. Due to the bad preservation
of the only available specimen, no more than several sections
through the interior structure could be gained. They showed
quite different characters of the cardinalia (Fig. 2) in compari-
son with those known in other large, smooth athyridid genera
as Oxycolpella Dagys, Majkopella Moisseiev or Ochotathy-
Fig. 1. Location of finding place of the examined pebble.
Fig. 2. Spirigera deslongchampsi Suess. Five transverse sections through posterior part of shell. Chvalová. Magnified.
AN UPPER TRIASSIC LIMESTONE PEBBLE WITH SPIRIGERA DESLONGCHAMPSI SUESS 101
ris Dagys. In this respect, former Dagys presumption of the pos-
sible appurtenance of deslongchampsi to Oxycolpella (Dagys
1965, p. 132) seems incorrect. Our material is characterized by
absence of the pedicle collar, by a tripartite, very strong cardinal
process and by poorly developed dental lamellae. In these charac-
ters it differs substantially from Oxycolpella. Howerer the appur-
tenance to Spirigerellidae Grunt 1965 (sensu Dagys 1974) seems
legitimate. The generic identification of Spirigera (= Athy-
ris) deslongchampsi regrettably remains doubtful (most
probably new genus) until further, more favourably preserved
finds. For the time being, the original generic name for
deslongchampsi is used even if invalid.
The species has been only very rarely reported from the
Northern Calcareous Alps. Our specimens agree well to the
original material that we had at our disposal for comparison.
Apart from the holotype (the only specimen known to Suess
1855) the collection of the Geologische Bundesanstalt in Vi-
enna exhibits three specimens figured by Bittner (1890) on
Pl. 15 (Fig. 3 with the dimensions 22.2
and young specimens on Fig. 4: 10.1
4.8 mm and on
Fig. 5: 10.3
5.2 mm). They all derive from Stein-
bergkogel near Hallstatt. New collecting done at this locality
by L. Krystyn yielded a well-preserved pedicle valve (mea-
29.0 mm) that we had at our disposal, too.
Occurrence: Chvalová, Southern Slovakia. According to
Bittner (1890) the most specimens came from Steinbergko-
gel near Hallstatt (marly Hallstatt Limestone of Late Norian
age, and light-coloured crinoid limestone of Vandaites stu-
erzenbaumi Subzone = Early Rhaetian sensu Wiedmann &
Krystyn in Wiedmann et al. 1979, p. 145). Siriuskogel near
Ischl; other occurrences mentioned by Bittner (1890) are
uncertain (Nassköhr near Neuberg, Teltschen near Bad Aus-
see and Barmsteine near Hallein).
Microfossils and their stratigraphic evaluation
The stratigraphic position of the analysed limestone pebble
was established by determination of macro and micro fauna.
Spirigera deslongchampsi has rarely been reported from
Hallstatt Limestone of Late Norian age and from light co-
loured crinoid limestones of Early Rhaetian age, see part De-
scription of brachiopod specimen. A part of pebble (about
25 dkg) was dissolved in 10% acetic acid. In insoluble resi-
due, the following statigraphically important microfossils
were found: conodonts, sclerites of holothurians, spines of
ophiuroids, pedicellarian valves of echinoids and siliceous
spicules of sponges.
a/ Conodonts Misikella hernsteini (Mostler), (Pl. IV:
Fig. 1); M. posthernsteini Kozur & Mock (Pl. IV: Fig. 2, 3);
Oncodella paucidentata (Mostler), (Pl. IV: Fig. 4). M. hern-
steini is predominant. The first determination of the con-
odonts in our sample was already made by Mock (1980, p.
133), and it was confirmed by our present study.
Plate I: Fig. 1 Spirigera deslongchampsi Suess, Chvalová,
1.5. Slovak National Museum No. SNM Z 21978. Fig. 2 Spirigera
deslongchampsi Suess. Steinbergkogel near Hallstatt. Holotype. Geologische Bundesanstalt No. l855/5/2,
102 SÝKORA, SIBLÍK
Plate II: Fig. 1 Tetrataxis nanus Kristan-Tollmann, thin sec. 11211,
86. Fig. 2 Meandrospiranella? aff. planispira Oravecz-
Scheffer, thin sec. 20834,
133. Fig. 3 Fragment of dasycladacean alga, thin sec. 20834,
56. Fig. 4 Fragment of Halicorynean
thalli, thin sec. 20833,
56. Fig. 5 Muranella parvissima (Dragastan), thin sec. 11211,
190. Fig. 6 Didemnoides moreti (Durand
Delga), thin sec. 11211,
190. Fig. 7 Osteocrinus sp., thin sec.11211,
50. Fig. 8 Bryozoan fragment and valves of ostracods, thin
100. Fig. 9 Fossils assemblage in the analysed limestone, thin. sec. 11211,
AN UPPER TRIASSIC LIMESTONE PEBBLE WITH SPIRIGERA DESLONGCHAMPSI SUESS 103
Plate III: Fig. 1 Agathamminoides spiroloculiformis (Oravecz-Scheffer), thin sec. 11211,
86. Fig. 2 Agathammina incostans
(Michalík, Jendrejaková & Borza), thin sec. 11292,
129. Fig. 3 Planiinvoluta carinata Leischner, thin sec. 20833,
86. Fig. 4 Aus-
trocolomia canaliculata Oberhauser, thin sec. 20834,
127. Fig. 5 Frondicularia woodwardi Howchin and Quinqueloculina sp., thin
86. Fig. 6 Rectoglandulina aff. polyarthra Kristan-Tollmann, thin sec. 20833,
45. Fig. 7 Aulotortus communis
(Kristan), thin sec. 20834,
86. Fig. 8 Involutina cf. turgida Kristan, thin sec. 11211,
45. Fig. 9 Trocholina granosa (Frenzen),
110. Figs. 10, 11 Tetrataxis inflata Kristan, thin sec. 20833
86. Fig. 12 Tetrataxis nanus Kristan-
Tollmann, thin sec. 11296,
104 SÝKORA, SIBLÍK
b/ Sclerites of holothurians Theelia stellifera Zankl
(Pl. VI: Fig. 1); Theelia simoni Kozur & Mock (Pl. VI: Fig.
2); Theelia corbula Zankl (Pl. VI: Fig. 3); Theelia variabilis
Zankl (Pl. VI: Fig. 4); Theelia sp. (Pl. VI: Fig. 5); Punctatites
sp. (Pl. VI: Fig. 6).
c/ Ophiuroid spines Loch types sensu Mostler (l972,
Pl. 3) (Pl. V: Figs. 7, 8). These forms were reported by
Mostler l.c. from Late Norian and Rhaetian age. The other
types (Pl. V: Figs. 6, 9, 10) are similar to those found and fig-
ured by Mostler (1971) from the Upper Triassic limestones.
d/ Pedicellarian valves tridentate (Pl. IV: Figs. 5, 6);
ophicephalous (Pl. IV: Figs. 7, 8), similar types of valves
were described by Mostler (1972, Pl. 1, 2) from limestones of
e/ Sponge spicules tetraxons, orthodichotriaene forms
(Pl. IV: Fig. 10; Pl. V: Fig. 1); tetraxons ?triaene form with re-
duction of rhabds (Pl. V: Fig. 3); desmas, rhabdoclone types
(Pl. IV: Fig. 11; Pl. V: Fig. 2); diactinal monoaxon, amphi-
tilote type (Pl. V: Fig. 5) and criccostyl (Pl. V: Fig. 4). Forms
of the sponge spicules on Pl. IV: Figs. 10, 11; Pl. V: Figs. 1, 2,
3, 4 are similar to those figured by Mostler (1976) from lime-
stones of Sevatian age.
In the thin sections we identified stratigraphically impor-
tant foraminifers. Their association is characterized by pre-
vailing ophthalmidia and sessile forms. These groups of fo-
rams are represented by the following species: Ophthalmidium
lucidum (Trifonova), Oph. triadicum (Kristan), Oph. fusiform-
is Trifonova, Paleonubecularia? floriformis Ciarapica & Za-
ninetti, Agathammina incostans (Michalík, Jendrejáková &
Borza) (Pl. III: Fig. 2), A. austroalpina Kristan-Tollmann &
Tollmann, Agathamminoides spiroloculiformis (Oravecz-
Scheffer) (Pl. III: Fig. 1), Planiinvoluta multitabulata
(Kristan-Tollmann), P. carinata Leischner (Pl. III: Fig. 3), and
P. regularis Salaj, Borza & Samuel.
In the associations also Milioporidae represented by the
species Galeanella? tollmanni (Kristan) are found sporadi-
cally. Nodosarian foraminifers like Austrocolomia canalicu-
lata Oberhauser (Pl. III: Fig. 4), Dentalina hoi Trifonova,
Pseudonodosaria sp., Frondicularia xiphoidea Kristan-
Tollmann, F. woodwardi Howchin (Pl. III: Fig. 5) and Rec-
toglandulina aff. polyarthra Kristan-Tollmann (Pl. III: Fig.
6) are among the common species.
Involutinid and glomospiroid foraminifers occur less fre-
quently and have subtle growth. They are represented by Au-
lotortus communis (Kristan) (Pl. III: Fig. 7) A. tumidus
(Kristan-Tollmann), Gandinella falsofriedli (Salaj, Borza &
Samuel), Coronipora austriaca (Kristan), Involutina cf. tur-
gida Kristan (Pl. III: Fig. 8) and Trocholina granosa (Frentz-
en) (Pl. III: Fig. 9). From further groups the species Trocham-
mina januensis Brönnimann & Page, Tetrataxis inflata
Kristan (Pl. III: Figs. 10, 11), T. nanus Kristan-Tollmann
(Pl. III: Fig. 12), Meandrospiranella? af f . planispira
Oravecz-Scheffer (Pl. II: Fig. 2), Turrispirillina minima Pant-
ic, Oberhauserella ovata Fuchs and Earlandia amplimuralis
(Pantic) were indentified. The described assemblage of fora-
minifers with numerous forms of ophthalmidia, nodosaria
(mainly Austrocolomia canaliculata), points to the Norian
age s.l. (i.e. including the Early Rhaetian). From the point of
view of the indistinct occurrence of involutid forams which
does not correspond to their explosive extension in the
Norian s.s., the age of the limestone studied would rather
correspod to the Early Rhaetian. This range is also sup-
ported by the sporadic presence of the Early Rhaetian in-
dex species Gandinella falsofriedli, Early Rhaetian An-
gulodiscus friedli Zone according to Salaj et al. (1983)
and the appearance of Early Rhaetian Milioporidae (spe-
cies Galeanella? tollmanni). In the associations of fora-
minifers the first involutinas (Involutina cf. turgida) al-
ready appear. They are mentioned by Salaj et al. l.c. from
the Rhaetian Triassina hantkeni Zone. According to all
the mentioned microfossils the pebble is of Early Rha-
etian age. According to conodonts it belongs to Misikella
hersteiniMisikella posthernsteini Subzone sensu Kozur
& Mock (1991).
Comparison of the analysed limestone
with Upper Triassic sediments of the Silica Nappe
near Silická Brezová village
The microfacies of the limestone with Spirigera was
compared with the microfacies of Upper Triassic limestones
and marls near Silická Brezová village (situated approxi-
mately 26 km E of Chvalová village, see Fig. l) at two locali-
A. New section SW of old quarries red and pink Hall-
statt Limestone in its uppermost part probably corresponds
according to unpublished stratigraphic data to the Early Rha-
B. Malý Mlynský vrch Hill locality situated l km east of
Silická Brezová village where the Zlambach Beds of Late
Norian to Rhaetian age occur (their age according to Mock
1973, l980 and Kozur & Mock 1974a,b).
In another place Bohúòovo village the sedimentation
of Zlambach Beds facies continued into the Early Jurassic
(Mello l997), as in the Northern Calcareous Alps (see e.g.
The red Hallstatt Limestone (loc. A) is represented by wack-
estones to packstones. They contain a relatively abundant asso-
ciation of fossil remains: mainly shells of bivalves, juvenile
ammonites, ostracods, sponge spicules, ossicles of echino-
derms, foraminifers in various proportions. Allochems are not
sorted. Terrigenous admixture is very low, about 2 grains of
quartz per thin section (compare also Miík & Borza l976).
Plate IV: Fig. 1 Misikella hernsteini (Mostler), neg. 1454,
370. Fig. 2 Misikella posthernsteini Kozur & Mock, neg.1421,
450. Fig. 3 Misikella posthernsteini Kozur & Mock,
450. Fig. 4 Oncodella paucidentata (Mostler), neg,
220. Fig. 5 Tridentate pedicellarian valve of a sea ur-
chin without a tip part, neg. 1448,
150. Fig. 6 Tridentate pedi-
cellarian valve of a sea urchin without a tip part, neg. 1428,
Fig. 7 Ophiocephalous pedicellarian valve of a sea urchin, neg.
150. Fig. 8 Dentated tip of the ophiocephalous pedi-
cellarian valve, neg. 1444,
230. Fig. 9 Agglutinate foramin-
150. Fig. 10 Sponge spicule, tetraxon - orthodi-
chotriaene, neg. 1457,
80. Fig. 11 Sponge spicule, desma -
rhabdoclone, neg. 1463,
AN UPPER TRIASSIC LIMESTONE PEBBLE WITH SPIRIGERA DESLONGCHAMPSI SUESS 105
106 SÝKORA, SIBLÍK
AN UPPER TRIASSIC LIMESTONE PEBBLE WITH SPIRIGERA DESLONGCHAMPSI SUESS 107
Plate V: Fig. l Sponge spicule, tetraxon - orthodichotriaene with
reduction of rhabds, neg. 1425,
190. Fig. 2 Sponge spicule,
desma - rhabdoclone, neg. 1418,
150. Fig. 3 Sponge spicule,
tetraxon - ?triaene with reduction of rhabds, neg. 1452,
350. Fig. 4
Sponge spicule, criccostyl neg. 1431,
90. Fig. 5 Sponge spi-
cule, diactinal monoaxon - aphitylote, neg. 1433,
230. Fig. 6
Thorny spine of ophiuroid, neg. 1427,
120. Fig. 7 Loch spine
of ophiuroid, neg. 1422,
190. Fig. 8 Loch spine of ophiuroid,
200. Fig. 9 Hooked spine of ophiuroid, neg. 1440,
350. Fig. 10 Hooked spine of ophiuroid, neg. 1462,
Plate VI: Fig. 1 Theelia stellifera Zankl, neg. 1436,
300. Fig. 2 Theelia simoni Kozur & Mock, neg. 1426
300. Fig. 3 Theelia
corbula Zankl, neg. 1449,
150. Fig. 4 Theelia variabilis Zankl, neg. 1455,
330. Fig. 5 Theelia sp., neg. 1438,
350. Fig. 6
Punctatites sp., neg. 1434,
Grey to grey-brownish rocks of the Zlambach Beds (loc.
B) are wackestones, they contain small fragmentary skele-
tal remains (silt to very fine sand size mainly). Thus the
identification of allochems is often difficult. Fragments of
bivalve shells, echinoderm ossicles, foraminifers and ostra-
cods were distinguished. Peloids, small intraclasts and epi-
genetic pyrite are present, too.
The rock also contains terrigenous admixture clay and
silt mainly (quartz: silt to 0.3 mm), it is often bioturbated
and spotted. In the upper parts of the formation, beds of hy-
brid calcareous sandstones with a quartz content of 40
50 % sporadically appear. They differ from the Zlambach
Beds of the Northern Calcareous Alps mainly in the smaller
content and reduced diversity of their fossils, and in the ab-
sence of corals (compare Zankl l971; Pistotnik 1972;
According to the association of fossil remains, the studied
limestone with Spirigera is similar to Hallstatt Limestone
near Silická Brezová.
It differs from it in the content of terrigenous compo-
nent (admixture), colour and indistinct spottedness. It
differs from rocks of the Zlambach Beds near Silická Br-
ezová in the assemblage, preservation and size of organ-
ic remains, also in colour and the smaller content of ter-
rigenous component (compare description of the pebble
studied). We suppose that the analysed limestone pebble
108 SÝKORA, SIBLÍK
represents a facies type, transitional between the the fa-
cies of Hallstatt Limestone and Zlambach Beds.
Although papers, describing the lithology and microfacies
of the Hallstatt Limestone (containing Spirigeras) in de-
tail are not familiar for us (localities Steinbergkogel near
Hallstatt, Siriuskogel near Ischl, Nassköhr near Neuberg,
see Suess 1855; Bittner 1890), we suppose that the Upper
Triassic limestones in some localities of the Juvavic Supe-
runit (Northern Cacareous Alps) and Silicic Superunit
(Western Carpathians) sedimented under similar biofacial
Acknowledgements: The brachiopod study was financially
supported by the Grant No. A 3013606 of the Grant Agency
of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. For mak-
ing available their own collections or museum material grate-
ful thanks is owing to Prof. L. Krystyn Paleontological In-
stitute of the Vienna University and Dr. F. Stojaspal from
Geological Survey, Vienna. We are indebted also to Dr. K.
Zágorek Department of Geology and Paleontology,
Comenius University, Bratislava for kind determination of
the bryozoan remains.
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