International Geological Journal - Official Journal of the Carpathian-Balkan Geological Association

Upper Miocene endemic lacustrine gastropod fauna of the Turiec Basin: addressing taxonomic, paleobiogeographic and stratigraphic issues Introduction and taxonomic history

Pages: 139 - 156

Authors: THOMAS A. NEUBAUER, MATHIAS HARZHAUSER, RADOVAN PIPÍK

Abstract: The present work displays the first detailed taxonomic study on the freshwater gastropod fauna of the Upper Miocene Lake Turiec. Apart from several mentions of species and genus names in the literature, the mollusc fauna has been poorly studied up to now. Some of the cited genera implied peculiar paleobiogeographic relationships, urging a taxonomic investigation to either prove or revise such arising claims. Variable degrees of preservation, however, lim- ited the possibility to identify all the fossils at species level. The fauna includes at least ten species, of which five turned out to be new to science. Four of those were sufficiently well preserved to be described as new species, namely Viviparus pipiki Neubauer & Harzhauser nov. sp., Melanopsis glaubrechti Neubauer & Harzhauser nov. sp., Tournouerina turiecensis Neubauer & Harzhauser nov. sp., and Radix kovaci Neubauer & Harzhauser nov. sp. Additionally, the new genus Popovicia Neubauer & Harzhauser nov. gen. is introduced for the primary homonym Metohia Popović, 1964 non Absolon, 1927. Most importantly, this taxonomic study revises many of the names cited in the literature and proves most of the alleged paleobiogeographic relationships wrong. The only biogeographic and stratigraphic surprise is the record of Popovicia cf. compressa, a species described from lower Pliocene deposits of the Metohia Basin in Kosovo. The majority of the fauna, however, has only been documented for the Turiec Basin, once more confirming the high degree of its endemicity. The faunal relationships indicate a latest Middle to early Late Pannonian (Middle to Late Tortonian) age, which is in agreement with available age models.

Keywords: freshwater molluscs, taxonomy, endemicity, paleobiogeography, stratigraphy, Western Carpathians, Neogene

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