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GEOLOGICA CARPATHICA, APRIL 2007, 58, 2, 145—152

Late Permian conodonts from Jadar Block (Vardar Zone,

northwestern Serbia)








Department of Paleontology, Faculty of Mining and Geology, University of Belgrade, Kamenička 6,

 11000 Belgrade, Serbia;  sudar@eunet.yu


Geological Institute of Serbia, Rovinjska 12, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia;


Geological Survey of Slovenia, Dimičeva 14, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia;

(Manuscript received March 27, 2006; accepted in revised form October 5, 2006)

Abstract:  Conodonts of the Hindeodus typicalis group belonging to the Lower praeparvus Zone (Changhsingian), are
found in the Permian—Triassic boundary interval in the Komirić section of the Jadar Block (Vardar Zone, NW Serbia). It
is the first record of Late Permian conodonts from Serbia, that is from the central part of the Balkan Peninsula. A breccia,
representing the tectonic contact between the “Bituminous Limestone” and the Svileuva Formations is found for the first
time in NW Serbia.

Key words: Late Permian, Changhsingian, P—T interval, NW Serbia, Vardar Zone, biostratigraphy, conodonts.


Permian and Triassic sediments are widespread in the Ja-
dar Block of NW Serbia and they have been intensively
studied. The shallow water marine carbonates of this block
around the Permian-Triassic boundary in NW Serbia with
different fossil associations, but lacking in ammonoids,
are the only such carbonates in Serbia. However, diverse
Late Permian macro- and micro-biocenoses (brachiopods,
bivalves, gastropods, algae, foraminifers), as well as rather
poor Early Triassic microfossil associations (foraminifers,
ostracods) have been reviewed (Pantić-Prodanović & Ra-
došević 1981; Pešić et al. 1988; Pantić-Prodanović 1989/
90, 1994, 1996, etc.). These authors analysed relations
across the Permian-Triassic (P-T) boundary in NW Serbia
and concluded that there was continuity of the sequence.

The aim of this study was to confirm the presence of

conodonts around the P—T interval beds of the Komirić
section. It represents the first phase of an ongoing geologi-
cal study of the NW Serbia that will include precise lithos-
tratigraphic definition and documentation of other
paleontological and biostratigraphic data.

Geological setting

The Jadar Block is located at the southern margin of the

Pannonian Basin. It extends westward over the Drina Riv-
er to eastern Bosnia (Fig. 1A).

The Jadar Block, as an exotic terrane was placed into

the Vardar Zone before the Late Cretaceous. It is surround-
ed by the Vardar Zone Western Belt, except in the farthest
southeastern part where it is in direct contact with the Ko-
paonik Block and Ridge Unit (Fig. 1A). The Jadar Block
differs from the Vardar Zone Western Belt in lacking post-
Liassic sediments, as well as in the absence of ultramafites,

ophiolitic mélange, and Cretaceous flysch development
(Filipović et al. 2003). It is characterized by: marine Car-
boniferous and Permian with shallow marine carbonates in
the Late Permian and the earliest Triassic, Anisian dolo-
mites, Ladinian “porphyrites” and pyroclastics, and Mid-
dle and Late Triassic platform-reefal limestones with
gradual transition into Liassic limestone.

There are obvious similarities with coeval successions

of the Carnic Alps, as well as with the “Bükkium” and
Sana-Una Terranes (Protić et al. 2000; Filipović et al.

Komirić section

The Komirić section on the southern slopes of the

Vlašić Mt, on the right side of the Valjevo-Loznica road
SE of Komirić village (Fig. 1) was referred to in previous
micropaleontological and sedimentological investiga-
tions as the Panića Cave section (Pantić-Prodanović
1996). In the same paper the transition between the Upper
Permian and Lower Triassic deposits was assumed to be
continuous. About 78 m of marine Upper Permian and
Lower Triassic carbonates are exposed in the Komirić sec-
tion. For the study presented herein, the lower part of the
column (19 m thick) was investigated and sampled for
conodonts (Fig. 2).

“Bituminous Limestone” Formation

The sediments of this formation, equivalent to the Ba-

diota facies of the Bellerophon Formation of the Southern
Alps, and the Nagyvisnyó Limestone Formation of the
Bükk Mts, NE Hungary, represent the lowest 7 m of the
column (Fig. 2). It consists of dark grey and black, massive
to thick-bedded bituminous bioclastic limestones (wacke-
stones, packstones) with abundant foraminifers, algae, os-

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tracods, holothurian sclerites, crinoids, echinoids, brachio-
pods, gastropods and ophiuroids. Only samples MS 1203/
2, 1203/3, 1203/4 and 1180 from the middle part of the
first 4.5 m of limestones produced conodonts: Ellisonia
sp.,  Hindeodus praeparvus,  H. typicalis,  H. cf. latidenta-
tus, and Hindeodus sp. (Table 1).

A hypothesized fault, which may reflect later tectonic

movements, follows with 15 cm of breccia (Fig. 2). It means
that the sequence across the P-T boundary could not be
continuous as it was traditionally believed for many places
in NW Serbia, including the Komirić section. We suppose
that the missing interval of the uppermost part of the “Bitu-
minous Limestone” Formation (together with the “bound-
ary shale”) is included in this tectonic part of the Komirić
section. This conclusion derives from the observed great
similarity to the P-T sections of the Bükk Mts, NE Hungary,
particularly to the lithological succession in the composite
Bálvány section (Bálvány-North and Bálvány-East; Haas et
al. 2004; Pelikán 2005; cf. Filipović et al. 2003).

Svileuva Formation

In this paper we present only the first 12 m of the lower

part of the thick- to thin-bedded light grey and grey fine

Fig. 1. Location of the Komirić section, NW Serbia. A – Terranes of part of the Balkan Peninsula (Karamata et al. 2000): SMCT – Serbian—
Macedonian Composite Terrane; MVZ – Main Vardar Zone; KBRU – Kopaonik Block and Ridge Unit; VZWB – Vardar Zone Western
Belt; JBT – Jadar Block Terrane; DIE – Drina-Ivanjica Element; DOB – Dinaridic Ophiolite Belt; EBDT – East Bosnian-Durmitor Terrane.


1180 1203/2 1203/3 1203/4 

Ellisonia sp.             Pb 












H. praeparvus          Pa 


H. typicalis               Pa 




H. cf. latidentatus     Pa 




Hindeodus sp.           Pa 



indet. fragm. 





Table 1: Numerical distribution of conodonts in the Komirić section.

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Fig. 2. Geological column of the Upper Permian and Lower Triassic sediments of the Komirić section in NW Serbia (Jadar Block, Vardar Zone).
1 – massive to thick-bedded limestones; 2 – thick- to thin-bedded limestones; 3 – dolomitic limestones; 4a – limestones with stylolites; 4b –
laminated limestones; 5 – conodonts; 6 – foraminifers; 7 – algae; 8 – ostracods; 9 – brachiopods; 10 – bivalves; 11 – gastropods; 12 –
echinoids; 13 – crinoids; 14 – ophiuroids; 15 – holothurian sclerites; 16 – wackestones; 17 – packstones; 18 – fault.

crystalline limestones (wackestones) of the Svileuva For-
mation; these are laminated and stylolitic in some levels
(Fig. 2). Dolomitic limestones are less frequent. All the
above mentioned limestones contain rare ostracods, fora-
minifers and echinoids but no conodonts were found. The
analysed interval was referred to the Svileuva Formation
(equivalent to the Tesero and Mazzin Members of the
Werfen Formation of the Southern Alps, and to the Geren-
navár Limestone Formation from the Bükk Mts, NE Hun-

gary), according to its superposition and preliminary fa-
cial investigations, as well as results obtained previously
(Pantić-Prodanović 1996; Filipović et al. 2003).

Conodont fauna

Thirty-three limestone samples were acid-leached in

quest of conodonts; only four samples were productive.

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Thin sections were also prepared. The Colour Alteration
Index (CAI values) of the identified conodonts is 3—3.5
(sensu Epstein et al. 1977). The distribution of other fau-
nal elements is shown in Fig. 2.

SEM photographs were prepared at the Institute of Biol-

ogy, University of Ljubljana, and at the Ivan Rakovec In-
stitute of Paleontology ZRC SAZU, also in Ljubljana,
Slovenia. Illustrated specimens and thin sections are de-
posited at the Department of Paleontology, Faculty of
Mining and Geology, University of Belgrade, Belgrade,
Serbia, under numbers MS 1180—1196 and 1203—1203/4,
1204 (Fig. 2).

Conodont dating

Conodonts from the Komirić section include Ellisonia

sp.,  Hindeodus praeparvus Kozur, Hi. typicalis (Sweet),
Hi.  cf. latidentatus (Kozur, Mostler et Rahimi-Yazd), and
Hindeodus sp. Except for Ellisonia, they belong to the
Hindeodus typicalis group of the Hindeodus-Isarcicella
lineage, of prime importance for biostratigraphy of the
Permian-Triassic transition. The absence of gondolellids is

Hindeodids were favoured for defining the base of the

Triassic System (Yin 1993; Yin et al. 1996). Nevertheless,
the determined taxa from the Komirić section do not allow
the identification of the Triassic base because of absence
of the marker H. parvus. H. praeparvus is a widely distrib-
uted species ranging in the latest  Changhsingian, but it is
also rarely present in the earliest Triassic (Kozur 1996;
Perri & Farabegoli 2003). In the Southern Alps, H.
praeparvus  and  H. typicalis have been recorded in the
both  praeparvus  (Late Permian) and parvus (Early Trias-
sic) Zones (Perri & Farabegoli 2003). Recently Kozur
(2004) reported H. praeparvus as extending from the latest
Permian  C. meishanensis—H. praeparvus (or  H. praepar-
vus) Zone to the Early Triassic Lower I. isarcica Zone.
The Changhsingian occurrences of H.  latidentatus are
well documented in central Asia and India (Kozur 1996;
Orchard & Krystyn 1998), but in China, it ranges the
praeparvus through the isarcica Zone (latest Permian—ear-
liest Triassic) according to Nicoll et al. (2002).

Yin’s (1993) suggestion to use the first appearance datum

(FAD) of H. parvus to define the lower limit of the Triassic
System (i.e. the Paleozoic-Mesozoic boundary) was subse-
quently ratified with the Global Stratotype Section and
Point (GSSP) for the Permian-Triassic boundary being spec-
ified in the Meishan D section, China (Yin et al. 2001). Un-
fortunately,  H. parvus is not present in the Komirić section
so it is not possible to define the P-T boundary there.

There has been no evidence of Isarcicella  in the studied

section.  Isarcicella  is the typical earliest Triassic genus,
but it makes its first appearance already in the latest Per-
mian (Upper praeparvus Zone) (Perri & Farabegoli 2003).

Considering all the above presented conodont data, the

middle part of the uppermost “Bituminous Limestone”
Formation in the Komirić section is referred to the Lower
praeparvus Zone of the Changhsingian (Perri & Farabego-
li 2003). It is the first record of an Late  Permian conodont

fauna from Serbia, that is from central part of the Balkan

Comparison of conodont faunas of adjacent areas

Ammonoid-free shallow water marine sediments are

widely distributed near the P-T boundary. Conodont fau-
nas from the Southern Alps (Italy, Austria) and Hungary
(Bükk Mts) consist of Hindeodus—Isarcicella  populations
devoid of gondolellids. According to Orchard (1996),
Hindeodus flourished in nearshore, shallow warmer re-
gions, contrasting with gondolellids more common in off-
shore, deeper, cooler water marine environments. It is
shown that due to very high facies or ecological tolerance
the  H. typicalis group occurred in shallow subtidal- to in-
tratidal deposits, in cold water and/or warm water and is
therefore suited for defining the P-T boundary.

Results presented by Perri & Farabegoli (2003) for the

uppermost Bellerophon Formation and lower Werfen For-
mation (Tesero and Mazzin Members), are important for
making correlation with conodont faunas from the Komir-
ić section. These consist mainly of hindeodids and isarci-
cellids showing gradual morphological change up-section
enabling establishment of four new species and seven con-
odont biozones in the interval between the latest Permian
and earliest Triassic.

For the P—T boundary interval of the Southern Alps, the

paper of Schönlaub (1991) who presented the earliest Tri-
assic conodonts from the Werfen Formation in the Carnic
Alps (Austria) should also be mentioned. On the basis of
his results, mostly from the presence of H. parvus, H. tur-
gidus and I. isarcica, five distinct assemblages were dis-

P-T marine boundary sections are known in Hungary, in

the Bükk Mts and northeastern part of the Transdanubian
Range. New data important for defining the P—T boundary
interval by conodonts, and other co-occurring rich macro-
and microassociation, was studied in certain P-T sections
(Bálvány-North, Bálvány-East, Gerennavár, Kemesnye
Hill, etc.) (Haas et al. 2004). Several conodont taxa from
the Upper praeparvus  Zone in the upper Changhsingian
Nagyvisnyó Limestone Formation (Bálvány-North and
Gerennavár sections) and from the parvus Zone in the
Lower Induan Gerennavár Limestone Formation (Bálvány-
East, Bálvány-North and Gerennavár sections) have been
collected (Sudar et al. in print).

During the last few decades, conodont study of the P—T

interval and Early Triassic has been intensified in many
regions of the world, as well as in the Balkan Peninsula,
where only Early Triassic conodonts have been found un-
til now.

Early Triassic (Olenekian) conodonts have been identi-

fied in the Gučevo Mt (NW Serbia). The conodonts from
this area of the Jadar Block were dated as “Campilian”
(Pantić 1971; Urošević & Sudar 1980), or were assigned to
the costatus and gardenae Zones of the same age (Budurov
& Pantić 1973, 1974) or to the Smithian Parachirog-
nathus—Furnishius  Zone and Spathian triangularis—homeri
Concurrent-range Zone (Sudar 1986).

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Fig. 3. Conodonts from the Late Permian, Changhsingian, Lower praeparvus Zone; “Bituminous Limestone” Formation; Komirić, Jadar
Block, Vardar Zone, NW Serbia. 1, 4—6, 8a, 9a – Hindeodus praeparvus Kozur, 1996. 2, 3 – Hindeodus cf. latidentatus (Kozur, Mostler et
Rahimi-Yazd, 1975). 7 – Hindeodus sp. 1—7 – sample MS 1203/4, 8a – sample MS 1180, 9a – sample MS 1203/2. a – lateral views,
b – lower—oblique views.

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Early Triassic conodont fauna from Slovenia (Želin-Vr-

lejca, Iška and Draga Valleys, Tržič, Tehovec) and Croatia
(Svilaja) were mainly attributed to the Smithian Parachi-
rognathus—Furnishius (Zone 7) or obliqua Zones and to
the Spathian triangularis Zone (Herak et al. 1983; Kolar-
Jurkovšek & Jurkovšek 1995, 2001; Jelaska et al. 2003).

Representatives of Hindeodus were recently described

from the Outer Dinarides. In Croatia, lithostratigraphic and
biostratigraphic studies of the Lower Triassic shallow ma-
rine succession in the Gorski Kotar region were undertak-
en;  H. parvus occurs in the Školski Brijeg section and was
recorded from the lower part of the basal, dolomitized,
oolitic bar facies (F-1) (Aljinović et al. 2006).

In the Outer Dinarides of the western Slovenia, the Per-

mian—Triassic interval is indicated by a rich Hindeodus—
Isarcicella population. H. parvus was also identified and
its first occurrence indicates the base of the Triassic Sys-
tem in the lowermost Werfen Formation of the Idrija-Žiri
area. The determined taxa H. parvus, H. typicalis, Hindeo-
dus  sp.,  I. isarcica,  I. lobata,  I. staeschei, I. turgida and
Isarcicella sp. A enable recognition of at least three faunas
that provide a basis for worldwide correlation (Kolar-Jurk-
ovšek & Jurkovšek 2007).

Comments on conodont taxa

Ellisonia  sp.

Some Pb (digyrate), M (digyrate) and Sc (bipennate) ele-

ments of the multielement Ellisonia  Sweet’s (1970) model
were recovered. Specific discrimination of Ellisonia  re-
quires white matter. The relatively high CAI, as well as
fragmentary preservation of the material from the Komirić
section does not help in this regard. The collected ele-
ments display similar denticulation: the upper edge of lat-
eral processes has a set of small, needlelike denticles as in
E. teicherti Sweet.

Hindeodus praeparvus Kozur, 1996

(Fig. 3.1,4—6,8—9)

Kozur (1996) distinguished two subspecies, H. latiden-

tatus latidentatus and  H. latidentatus praeparvus discrim-
inated mainly by the profile of the posterior end, with the
posterior denticles being widely separated by U-shaped
spaces in H. latidentatus latidentatus, but in H. latidenta-
tus praeparvus more densely arranged with V-shaped
spaces. This characteristic feature has been noted in mate-
rial from Spiti (Orchard & Krystyn 1998) who elevated the
two subspecies to the species-level; this has been accepted
by numerous authors (Nicoll et al. 2002; Perri & Farabego-
li 2003; Kozur 2004). Two morphotypes can be observed
in  H. praeparvus based on the profile of the posterior end:
morphotype 1 with an abrupt and morphotype 2 with a
denticulate posterior end (Perri & Farabegoli 2003). In the
material from the Komirić section only elements with a
denticulate posterior end (morphotype 2) can be observed;
they compare well with certain specimens from the South-
ern Alps (Perri & Farabegoli 2003: pl. 2, figs. 25, 33).

Hindeodus typicalis (Sweet, 1970)

A single specimen of medium size fits description of

this species. The height of blade increases gradually to-
ward the cusp. The latter is only slightly stronger than oth-
er denticles.

Hindeodus  cf.  latidentatus

(Kozur, Mostler et Rahimi-Yazd, 1975)

(Fig. 3.2,3)

Specimens from the Komirić section do not show the

main characteristic. The posterior end is denticulate but
the U-shaped space is only indicated in some elements.
Here separated elements are rather low blades with mark-
edly looser denticulation as well as long basal cavity.
Similar specimens were presented in the material from Spi-
ti (Orchard & Krystyn 1998: pl. 6, figs. 27, 28) and South
China (Nicoll et al. 2002: fig. 13—1a—f).

Hindeodus  sp.

(Fig. 3.7)

Few incompletely preserved specimens. A figured speci-

men (Fig. 3.7) lacks a cusp as well as tips of the denticles.
The profile of the blade is similar to the specimens of H.
praeparvus as the posterior denticles are wider but the an-
terior are more closely spaced. The specimen also shows
certain similarity to H. typicalis of Orchard & Krystyn
(1998: pl. 6, fig. 19) but has fewer denticles. In our opin-
ion specimen illustrated here stands closer to H. praepar-

 due to the shape and size of cup.


In the initial phase of biostratigraphic investigations

conducted in the Permian—Triassic boundary interval of
the Komirić section in the Jadar Block (Vardar Zone, NW
Serbia) some conclusions can be reached.

1. Conodonts of the Lower praeparvus  Zone (Chang-

hsingian, Late Permian) were found for the first time in the
area, as well as in Serbia and in central part of the Balkan
Peninsula. The following conodont taxa are present: El-
lisonia  sp.,  H. praeparvus Kozur, H. typicalis (Sweet), H.
cf. latidentatus (Kozur, Mostler et Rahimi-Yazd), and
Hindeodus sp. The collected conodonts, except Ellisonia,
belong to the H. typicalis group, representatives of the
Hindeodus—Isarcicella population. This conodont group
is widely distributed in ammonoid-free shallow water ma-
rine sediments near the P-T boundary from all marine se-
quences of the western Tethys, in many parts of Asia, in
western North America, in the Southern Alps (Italy, Aus-
tria), in Hungary (Bükk Mts), etc. Absence of gondolel-
lids is noteworthy. Present finding of conodonts in NW
Serbia gives a possibility to make biostratigraphic corre-
lation of this area with other localities of the western
Tethys, especially with the territory of the Southern Alps
and Hungary.

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2. Tectonic disturbance (breccia of tectonic origin) be-

tween the “Bituminous Limestone” and Svileuva Forma-
tions is noticed in the Komirić section. This is also new
information from NW Serbia, because the transition from
Upper Permian to Lower Triassic deposits has been inter-
preted exclusively as continuous until now. Further inves-
tigations conducted in other parts of NW Serbia will
probably explain whether this tectonic interval is a local
phenomenon or it is present in other localities across the
P-T boundary beds as well.


 This study derives from extensive

spot-sampling by the senior author. It was supported by
the Ministry of Science and Environmental Protection of
the Republic of Serbia (Project 146009), the Slovenian
Research Agency (Program P1-0011 and Project J1-6665),
and through the program of bilateral scientific-technolog-
ic cooperation between Serbia and Montenegro and the
Republic of Slovenia 2005—2006. I. Filipović (Serbia), B.
Jurkovšek (Slovenia), K. Hips and P. Pelikán (Hungary)
provided helpful suggestions during preparation of this
paper. R. Jovanović (Serbia) is thanked for computer work
on the figures, and other technical help. Anonymous re-
viewers substantially improved the manuscript. This is a
contribution to IGCP—Project 467.


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